WICKER PARK — Recent renovations at the CTA's Damen "L" station have included more than new flooring and a paint job— there's art on the walls, too.
A series of photographs by Ian J. Whitmore began as an idea conceived more than two years ago by Ald. Joe Moreno (1st) and a then-local gallery curator.
The photos, which were chosen by local art gallery Johalla Projects for the "L" stop, feature commercial settings that contain nature as well. One photograph displays a parking garage made of cement and steel with fluorescent lighting and wallpaper imitating a forest.
"People take natural resources and use them for decorative pieces for offices," said Johalla Projects' Ana Cerniglia. "We chose him (Whitmore) first because photography is an easier medium to install."
On a recent morning, the station was busy with commuters rushing off to work, with few even glancing at Whitmore's art.
Commuter Karin Fields was an exception. The stop-motion designer, who had just moved to Chicago from Florida, was on her way to work at a production studio in the West Loop.
"I guess it's a statement juxtaposing city life against nature using manmade objects," Fields said of Whitmore's work. "It looks like there are a lot of tears in the photograph. A lot of noise. Maybe trying to express the noise of the city life."
Fields then dashed off to catch an oncoming train.
Whitmore's "Nowhere" exhibit will hang until January.