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40,000 Square Feet of New Street Art is Coming to the Loop

Walk through Chicago’s South Loop and you’ll be captivated by new installations of colorful and powerful public art.  From May 1- 13, 2016, 18 renowned local and international street artists will create more than 40,000 square feet of new, large-scale building paintings. Chicagoans and visitors can explore one of the largest concentrations of wall murals in any city center nationwide.

An initiative of Columbia College Chicago and Wabash Arts Council, Big Walls (www.wabashartscorridor.org/bigwalls) supports Chicago’s Cultural Plan in that it enhances cultural spaces and is supported by educational, artistic and private organizations.

Marina Zumi's mural in process for WAC Big Walls. Image by Philip Dembinski, Columbia College Chicago.

The new cluster of art brings the total in South Loop area to almost 40. This expansion of art in public places is making a positive impact on the economy and brings a fresh energy to the neighborhood.

Columbia alumni Ruben Aguirre's mural in process for WAC Big Walls. Image by Philip Dembinski, Columbia College Chicago.

Street artists installing new work for WAC Big Walls include: Eduardo Kobra (Brazil); Ricky Lee Gordon (South Africa); Marina Zumi (Argentina); Collin van der Sluijs (Netherlands); Ozmo (Italy); Chicago artists Renee Robbins, Amuse 126, Sarah Stewart, Lady Lucx, Zor Zor Zor, Czr Prz, DMNology and Tararchy; and Columbia alumni Don't Fret, Ruben Aguirre and Justus Roe.

 “To my knowledge, no other academic institution in the country has integrated the power of street art to create a sense of campus, extend student learning, and connect to its neighbors,” says Wabash Arts Corridor Chair and Columbia Vice President for Student Success Mark Kelly.

The two-week festival will encompass artist panels, street art tours, live art-making and more. For a full schedule of programs, visit www.wabashartscorridor.org/bigwalls. Explore on your own or check out the website for times of docent-led tours between May 1st – 13th.

Main Photo:Collin van der Sluijs' mural in process for WAC Big Walls. Image by Philip Dembinski, Columbia College Chicago. 


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