Assisted by JJ McKluckie, Andrea Jablonski, Jane Georges, Lisa Gray, Ruben Aguirre, & John Barlow
Fullerton Mural L3C
Public Art Agent
Chicago Public Art Group
CHICAGO (July - August 2017) In collaboration with the Chicago Public Art Group, Chicago-based artist Renee Robbins transformed the pedestrian underpass at Fullerton and Lake Shore Drive with two monumental murals, each 14 feet tall x 110 feet long. The project, titled A Kaleidoscope of Hidden Worlds, considers the complex relationships between humans, nature, and the cosmos. It’s supported through the generosity of Fullerton Mural L3C and residents of Chicago’s Lincoln Park neighborhood.
The goal was to transform the pedestrian underpass into a work of art at the Fullerton Avenue Beach on Lake Michigan. One of the most highly traveled underpasses in the city of Chicago, the underpass links the neighborhood of Lincoln Park with the 18 mile lakefront trail along the shore of Lake Michigan.
Planning for the project took a year. Renee Robbins led a team of 6 assistant artists for 7 weeks of mural painting.
The artist’s layering of numerous extraordinary worlds—often hidden from view—encourages viewers to take a closer look at their surroundings. Inspiration involved research on the local ecology around Lake Michigan. Themes include the symbiotic relationships between species as well as camouflage behaviors inform the design. The composition’s sense of movement draws from cycles in nature, such as growth and decay, changing seasons, and rising and receding tides. Design motifs were inspired by spirals, which repeat in different natural systems, including DNA helixes, flower structures, hurricanes, and galaxies. Robbins’ use of wave patterns mimics those present in water, light, and planetary motion.
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Art matters. Attention to the details of our environment leads to love of place, which brings us to take responsibility for the spaces where we live and work. And by extension, the people with whom we live and work. And by extension, to our local communities, our cities, our nations, and our world.
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