Viewfinder: Murals in Oak Park
Depiction of Nelson Algren among the latest in series of public art project.
Hundreds of aging concrete squares, hundreds of blank slates.
A public art project convened by the village of Oak Park and the Oak Park Area Arts Council has brought vivid murals to the otherwise dull, industrious concrete walls supporting the borders of the El, Metra and Union Pacific train tracks cutting through Oak Park.
On Wednesday, work was completed on a new mural at the CTA Green Line Harlem stop, a detailed portrait of legendary Chicago author Nelson Algren. The mural, painted by artist Andrea Jablonski, also shows the city skyline and contains a scrawled passage from Algren's 1942 novel Never Come Morning.
Jablonksi, 39, of Chicago's Garfield Park neighborhood, submitted the proposal for the mural — inspired by photographer Art Shay's portraits of the late novelist — to the Arts Council as a way to commemorate one of her favorite scribes.
"Luckily someone agreed with me," she said. "The quote that I put on it is about the trains and the El. It's appropriate for the setting."
We found it a good occasion to take a ride along North and South Boulevard to grab some snapshots of the works.
For a look at the collaborations making the project possible, check out this village-produced video. At least three more murals are planned this year.