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Artist Wanted for Bicycle-Themed Mural

By Benjamin Woodard | March 15, 2013 6:18am

ROGERS PARK — Organizers of Mile of Murals, a community project with a goal to drape a mile of walls on Glenwood Avenue in artwork, are seeking proposals from Chicago artists for a spot near the Morse "L" station.

The mural would be the eighth installment of a project that began in 2007. Since then, long stretches of concrete walls along the Red Line and under train viaducts have been painted. Efforts include a portrait of President Barack Obama, a butterfly and images of Rogers Park history.

One of the more striking murals — painted last summer by Los Angeles artist Kalen Ockerman — is a series of neon-colored cyclops heads with white-out eyes.

"His is definitely patterned, but it's so complex," said Mile of Murals director Lea Pinsky of the Farwell Avenue mural. "We were all really excited about what he did."

This year, Pinsky is looking for proposals from Chicago artists to paint a mural at the Lunt Avenue entrance to the Morse "L" station as a backdrop to the new bike parking area under the track viaduct, she said.

The theme is "Bicycle Transportation in Chicago," according to the request for proposal due April 1.

Pinksy said she encourages artists to use "historical or geographical, environmental, or health and fitness" overtones in pitching their ideas to "tie into what that space is going to be."

The wall is 37 feet long and nine feet high. Paint will be provided and artists will receive a $2,500 stipend.

New artists and themes are selected each year "through a rigorous selection process juried by arts professionals and community leaders," according to the project's website.

The 10-year project, funded by a special taxing district, should be completed by 2017, after a full mile of murals grace the Red Line track embankments from Estes Avenue to Pratt Boulevard.

The project will result in 19 murals along 10 block-long walls, seven viaduct walls and two overpasses, according to the website.