“Sepia”, new murals celebrating the spirit of Little Village and North Lawndale with portraits of community leaders from both neighborhoods are located at two underpasses. The murals, commissioned by the 22nd ward Alderman Ricardo Munoz and managed by Chicago Public Art Group, were developed to celebrate and bridge each neighborhood’s spirit, diversity and history, while promoting their unity.
Alderman Munoz and community leaders wanted to have the viaducts represent a bridge to each community, Little Village a primarily Hispanic neighborhood and North Lawndale an African American neighborhood. It also represented a space for artists from both communities to create art that celebrated each neighborhood’s spirit and diversity.
The finished murals will be unveiled on Thursday, Dec. 8, 2016 at noon. All are invited to come to 2230 S. Central Park Ave. for the unveiling, where Alderman Munoz, artists, residents and CPAG representative will speak about the project. The celebration will continue at La Villita Community Church at 2300 S. Millard, where residents can speak to the artists to learn more about the process.
About the Artists
Rahmaan Barnes grew up on the south side of Chicago, surrounded by urban art and public murals that inspired him to get involved with the subculture of urban graffiti. The main focus of his work became public murals that fuse the graffiti aesthetic. With the classical art training he received from the American Academy of Art. As cofounder of RK Design, a graphic arts and mural company, he has produced over 200 murals, multiple CD covers, book illustrations, and logo designs. Through the Chicago Public Art Croup and Gallery 37, he has instructed children in mural painting techniques and mentored young artists in their craft.
Max Sansing, a Chicago native, was raised on the Southside in the Avalon Park community. His parents were artists, and so he naturally grew to love painting at an early age. Fueled by the desire to create art, Sansing taught himself oil painting and later completed two years of formal college training at the American Academy of Art from 1999 to 2000. In addition to painting full time, Sansing has expanded his creativity and artistic talents into creating murals across Chicago and New York. His current art influences include Norman Rockwell, Maxfield Parrish, Gustav Klimt, Thomas Blackshear, and his late father, Ellis Sansing. Max is the cofounder of RK Design, an art consulting group that specializes in mural and graphic design.