Also in May 2016, I was commissioned to create a large scale mural in Chicago's West Loop/Fulton Market District. The square footage of this white wall beauty was well over 1,000ft. The completion of this large scale mural took in total 11 days, although the total duration from start to finish was over two weeks. The weather in Chicago has proven to be quite temperamental. Sunny and beautiful one day, cold and rainy the next. When creating an exterior mural, planning my time around the weather can be very tricky! However, the 11 days I DID work on this beast were the best paint days I think I have ever had. The West Loop/Fulton Market District neighborhood houses incredible restaurants, businesses, retail shops, character... but most importantly, it houses some incredibly remarkable people. The fact that I met so many wonderful, inspirational, positive people everyday coming to work on this mural meant I was equally excited to paint but to also be close to the public. I had so many folks ask questions ranging from my technical approach to my content choices. It was so great to communicate and educate while I painted. As the mural grew, so did the crowd. I witnessed engagement photos, graduation photos, music videos, product placement photos, dog portraits, yoga portraits, selfies, groupies... you name it, people were taking photos of it in front of the mural. I love that the public had such a positive response to this large scale mural on the corner of Lake and Morgan. I truly believe it changed the neighborhood and acceptance of public art. I did find it interesting that I had three questions consistently asked everyday, multiple times a day: 1. "Did you do this whole wall by yourself?" Of course I did. Do you see anyone else? Is it so hard to believe a person, a female, an artist can take on such a large project by herself? I don't think so... 2. "I don't see you working from a sketch or drawing, are you doing that from your head?" YES. Is it also so hard to believe that art can magically come from ones head out through their arm and hand onto a surface? It was a little disturbing that people had such a hard time believing I was just free styling/free handing the entire wall. I know not everyone can just draw from their head and I know that there are beautiful murals and pieces of art out there where sketches, aids, projectors were used in the creation... But what about the magic of good old fashioned art. It still exists. 3. "How do you do that?" I dunno, I just do. How do you do your job?
I used three paint brushes for this entire wall and black acrylic latex paint. A huge thanks to Jeff Shapack and the entire Shapack Partners team for commissioning me to do this project and believing in my art. The Shapack Partners value the arts and culture of the neighborhood and want to keep it intact. They commissioned me to create this mural even though the building will eventually be torn down and rebuilt as a single story retail space for the neighborhood. It is important for them as a development company to keep the integrity of the arts in the FultonMarket District. I am absolutely honored to have been the artist they selected for this project. It was ahard concept for some of the public to understand... why I would knowingly put all this work into this mural only have it be torn down in a few months. It's hard to put into words but... Nothing is permanent and the fact that it actually even existed at one point is a beautiful thing in itself. Like a memory. And on that point, the memories and photos people are creating in front of that wall and or during the creation of that wall is a beautiful thing itself. Because it is so temporary, the urgency to visit it and enjoy it is a current reality. The fact that Jeff Shapack believes in the art culture that much to commission and support an Artist is extremely important to the arts. And for me as an Artist... The work I have gotten from doing this wall is priceless. The amount of eyes that saw me work on and complete this mural has accelerated my career beyond belief. This mural might be temporary, but my gratitude is eternal.