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Mural Near School Aims to Inspire Love of Science

  Arts Alive Chicago painted the science-themed mural to inspire Beaubien Elementary School students.
Re:Thinking mural
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JEFFERSON PARK — A new mural in Jefferson Park is designed to inspire a love of science in Beaubien Elementary School students, organizers said.

Dubbed "Re:Thinking," the mural was spurred by a request from the parent of a Beaubien Elementary School student who wanted a mural to make the concepts of science, technology, engineering and mathematics come alive, said Arts Alive Chicago President Cyd Smillie.

The north wall of the underpass at Ainslie and Avondale avenues features more than 30 math- and- science inspired images, Smillie said. Many students walk to school via the underpass, as Metra trains rumble above them.

The entire mural cannot be be viewed at one time without moving and as the ideas expand from the source — the human brain — they go off into the great unknown of space and the digital world, Smillie said.

The mural, which cost $1,500, was funded by donations to Arts Alive Chicago, which recently changed its name from Arts Alive 45 to better reflect its citywide mission as a nonprofit public art group.

Originally, Arts Alive had planned to partner with the Rabb Family Foundation to fund the mural.

There was not enough money left for the mural after Arts Alive did preparatory work on the Rabb foundation's mural honoring internationally acclaimed artist and Chicago native Ed Paschke at Lawrence and Avondale avenues, Smillie said.

Arts Alive bowed out of the project when the concept of the mural was changed, Smillie said at the time.

The Rabb Family Foundation is funding the Ed Paschke Art Center, which is set to open June 22.

The artists who helped complete the mural were Smillie; Elvis Rodriguez; Elli Given; Abigail Leja; Cathy, Lola and Stella Marchese; and Jill Arena, the wife of Ald. John Arena (45th).

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