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Orange Walls: A Day of Public Art Inspiration

In 2011, the Special Service Area #33 and the Wicker Park Bucktown Chamber of Commerce commissioned six visual artists to each create an exciting, colorful mural for the eclectic and artful walls of Wicker Park Bucktown. Visit them all in one day, find your muse, and steep your senses in the hidden treasures of our neighborhood. An itinerary wouldn't be complete without well-planned stops for nourishment, so in-between viewing these captivating public art works, stop for a nosh, a brew or a treasure!

1. Laura Berger
    2045 W. Concord

Beginning on the north side of Wicker Park Bucktown, just north of the Damen Blue Line ‘el’ stop, visit the playful mural by artist and illustrator Laura Berger at 2045 W. Concord, just off of Milwaukee Avenue. Laura’s work has been exhibited around the U.S. and Canada and can be found at indie craft markets, like Renegade and Etsy.

2A. Wingstop
      1637 N. Milwaukee

2B.  Irazu
      1865 N. Milwaukee

After gazing at the colorful and cheerful characters of Berger’s mural, grab a drool-worthy chicken wing treat at Wingstop or head up Milwaukee just a little bit further north for an authentic Costa Rican meal from Irazu. Share one of Irazu’s famous Oatmeal shakes with your date and discuss the importance of public art.

3. Brendan Hudson
   1471 N. Milwaukee

Travel south on Milwaukee to visit “With patterns” by Chicago muralist and youth activist, Brendan Hudson. Hudson has created over eight public murals with local Chicago youth throughout Chicago.

4. Store B Vintage
   1472 North Milwaukee Avenue

Capture all of the colorful patterns, symbols, portraits and landscapes in this remarkable mural and then stop by Store B Vintage to pick up a set of deco cocktail glasses for your new mini-bar or find a hot vintage fashion accessory for your next art opening!


5. Industry of the Ordinary
   1440 N. Ashland

When your palate is fully pleased and you’re feeling a bit saucy, head over to 1440 N. Ashland Avenue to see the mural by performance artists, Adam Brooks and Mat Wilson aka Industry of the Ordinary, who “challenge the pejorative notions of the ordinary.”

6. Chad Kouri
   1549 N. Bell

Ponder the definition of “ordinary” while walking down North Avenue to the mural "MAKE" by collage artist, illustrator, and graphic designer Chad Kouri. It's located just past the six corners off of North Avenue at 1549 N. Bell. Note the choice of color, line and shape in Chad’s visual dedication to the creative process.

7. The Handlebar
    2311 W. North

Explore your own creative urges while devouring fantastic vegetarian & vegan fare at The Handlebar, Chicago’s own cyclist friendly restaurant located just west on North Avenue. Grab a meaty BBQ seitan sandwich, a healthful green meanie salad, or some deep fried pickles (now that’s inspiring!) along with an excellent bottle of brew or local cup of Metropolis coffee. Explore the plot line of your newly conceived novel. Rock out to indie, punk, rock, or metal tunes. Observe the common Handlebar flock of gorgeous neighborhood hipsters, artists and cyclists.
 

8. Wicker Park
   1425 N. Damen

Is the world as black and white as we may sometimes perceive it? Use this thought to accompany you while you walk east on North and south on Damen Avenue towards Wicker Park. When you reach the park – relax! Quietly observe the shapes of the flowers in the gardens, circle the fountain and consider it’s sculptural form, and watch picnickers perform everyday actions gracefully. Sit on a bench and watch the locals pass by or lay in the grass to observe cloud patterns and tree limbs sway in the breeze. Has the art & culture of the Wicker Park Bucktown neighborhood inspired your daydreams? Are the colors of the city streets emerging in all of their glory?

9. Blue Line Lounge & Grill
     1548 North Damen Avenue

After a short snooze in the park, let your curiosity lead you to the creative fare of the classic 1950’s style Blue Line Lounge and Grill, just north on Damen, where you can refuel on Peanut Butter & Jelly Martinis, Elk Minnies and Coca Cola Towers!

From here, you can carry your full tummy and nourished creative spirit back onto the train. Hold onto your ironic 80's glasses and begin your next sketchbook masterpiece as you shuttle back to wherever your journey began.

Thanks for visiting!

Copyright 2012. Written by Clover Morell of The Wicker Park Bucktown Chamber of Commerce.