JEFFERSON PARK — Unlike most Chicagoans, Jim Bachor is thrilled by the annual crop of potholes that inevitably bloom on Chicago's streets.
For Bachor, a mosaic artist who lives on the border between Mayfair and Jefferson Park, Chicago's potholes have become his favorite canvas — and thanks to a successful Kickstarter campaign, Bachor will be able to turn at least four into works of public art designed to ease the sting of a broken axle or flat tire.
"People definitely have sparked to the idea," Bachor said. "There is something charming about taking something that is universally regarded as ugly and transforming it into a piece of fine art."
Heather Cherone explains how this project got started:
Bachor created his first Chicago flag-themed pothole mosaic in May 2013 after becoming frustrated with a pothole in front of his house, and along the way has become "the world's expert on filling potholes."
Other pothole mosaics have featured flowers, the number of potholes the city says it fills every year and phone numbers for local car repair shops, Bachor said.
Bachor launched a Kickstarter campaign to cover the cost of the 2015 Pothole Art Installation Project last week, hoping to raise $300 for three pothole mosaics. The effort reached its goal in three days, surprising Bachor.
"It definitely paid off" to put up the Kickstarter campaign. Any additional money contributed will increase the number of installations he can do this spring, Bachor said.
"I can't do it until April," Bachor said. "I need two days of at least 60 degrees for eight to nine hours straight."
In June, a mosaic by Bachor dubbed "Thrive" was installed on the walls of the CTA's Thorndale station on the Red Line.
Bachor, 50, who became an artist after a career in the advertising industry, fell in love with mosaics during a trip to Italy.
"I'm really very pleased," Bachor said. "Bring on the potholes."
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