Kerry James Marshall to Create Mural for Chicago Cultural Center

Mayor Rahm Emanuel and the Chicago Department of Cultural Affairs and Special Events (DCASE) are pleased to announce that internationally renowned artist and MacArthur Fellow Kerry James Marshall will create an epic, large-scale mural for the Chicago Cultural Center (78 E. Washington St.), honoring 20 women who have shaped the city’s vibrant arts and culture landscape. The 132-foot by 100-foot mural will be the largest artwork he has ever designed or created. Work is scheduled to begin today, September 21, and will continue throughout October to coincide with the month-long Public Art Festival—during Chicago’s Year of Public Art.

“Chicago is recognized across the country and around the world as an epicenter of innovative art, architecture and design,” said Mayor Rahm Emanuel. “Kerry James Marshall’s new mural on the iconic Chicago Cultural Center will be a strong addition to Chicago’s public art portfolio and a fitting commemoration of Chicago’s Year of Public Art.”

The Chicago Cultural Center is the first and most comprehensive free large-municipal cultural venue in the county. Every year, the Chicago Cultural Center, presents hundreds of free international, national, regional and local artists, musicians and performers, providing a showcase where the public can enjoy and learn about the arts. It is currently home to the Chicago Architecture Biennial, which will run through January 7, 2018.

“When I was asked to design a mural for narrow Garland Court, it was immediately clear to me that the site had to be ‘opened up’ in some way,” said Kerry James Marshall. “My solution was a park-like view with a bright sun and stand of trees to bring light and green space to the location while at the same time honoring the mission of the building as the hub of artistic activity in Chicago. My idea was to make of the trees a kind of Forest Rushmore acknowledging the contribution of 20 women who’ve worked to shape the cultural landscape of the city, past and present.”

The mural is funded by Murals of Acceptance, whose goal is to bring art to all people in a free public setting. It will be installed on the building’s Garland Court façade, between Washington and Randolph Streets.

Find out more about the mural and the Year of Public Art at the link below.