Southside Roots Mural Tour: Art Inspired by William Walker


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The tour is hosted by Chicago Public Art Group and led by Jeff Huebner and Bernard Williams. Sponsored by the Terra Foundation for American Art, Art Design Chicago, the tour is in partnership with the Hyde Park Art Center’s showBill Walker: Urban Griot, curated by Juarez Hawkins.

The bus tour will last approximately 3 hours. The tour will start and conclude at the Chicago Public Art Group Studio. The bus will leave promptly at 10:00 AM.

The South Side of Chicago boasts more vintage African-American outdoor and community murals from the 1970s and 1980s than any other city in the nation, many of which have been restored in recent years. Our three-hour tour will examine significant works from this period of the contemporary mural movement, focusing on projects inspired by the example of pioneering Chicago muralist William Walker (1927-2011), initiator of the epochal 1967 artist-collective mural Wall of Respect. After gathering at Chicago Public Art Group’s studio, we will travel to the Hyde Park Art Center to view the exhibit Bill Walker: Urban Griot. The works in this exhibit will introduce the group to how Walker illustrated the social ills and street life he witnessed in Chicago.

We'll view about two dozen socially conscious street murals and community-art sites. Reflecting the African-American experience, these murals depict themes of hope, heritage, pride, power, protest, and action, and form a largely unsung part of the city’s cultural legacy. The tour will provide participants an opportunity to engage with work by nationally renowned muralists such as Walker, Mitchell Caton, Calvin Jones, Justine DeVan, Siddha Webber, Bernard Williams, and Marcus Akinlana.

The tour guides are art journalist Jeff Huebner, who's upcoming book on William Walker published by Northwestern University Press will be released in 2019, and CPAG core artist Bernard Williams, a highly accomplished painter, sculptor, and muralist.