As I was walking to the train from work yesterday, I passed by the Chicago Cultural Center and remembered that it’s hosting a Chicago Street Art exhibit, Paint Paste Sticker, I’ve been meaning to check out. The exhibit is on the top floor and it’s a really nice overview of some of the city’s top street artists. You walk up and see a tagged bus shelter, then walk into the exhibition which hosts a variety of paintings, sculptures, installations and murals.
I absolutely loved the work of two artists I hadn’t known about before: Don’t Fret and Goons. Actually, their work seems somewhat similar in aesthetic. Coincidentally, here’s an interview with both artist at a Chicago Urban Arts Society event a couple years back: http://sixtyinchesfromcenter.org/archive/?p=7966. Goons has been involved in Red Bull-curated art shows, Miami’s Art Basel festival and an Orbitz gum ad campaign. I also loved the work of Erik “Risk” DeBat. His collage and neon-accented tire sculpture were a couple of my favorite pieces at the show.
The one thing that really caught my attention was how many public art initiatives there are to make room for sanctioned street art projects. I’ve already seen the murals in Logan Square, but there are also apparently several in Rogers Park, funded by that ward’s participatory budgeting initiative. There’s also a block of featured street art at Miller Beach in Gary, IN, which has me planning a quick road trip out there to check it out. You can find similar projects in other neighborhoods throughout the city.
For more info, also check out this excellent review of the exhibit I came across on Vandalog. On January 11, several of the featured artists will participate in an open mic event, Street Art Stories, to share the stories behind their work. The event will take place 1 – 4 pm at the Claudia Cassidy Theater at the Cultural Center. The Paint Paste Sticker exhibit runs through January 12.