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Von Steuben Students Bring 'Invader-Style' Street Art to Kimball Storefront

By Tanveer Ali | April 1, 2015 5:44am

ALBANY PARK — The inspiration behind Albany Park's latest art installation: 8-bit video games.

The art installation at 4730 N. Kimball Ave. (DNAinfo/Tanveer Ali)

The project, that hangs at 4730 N. Kimball Ave. across from the Kimball Brown Line station, is the result of a street art unit of instruction held by Von Steuben Metropolitan Science Center art teacher Todd Baran and librarian Rita Bramble.

The students researched street artists like Banksy and planned a public display.

Ultimately the students connected most with works by the French artist Invader who is known for his street art inspired by old-school "8-bit" video games.

Invader's Pac-Man mosaics in Bilbao Spain (Flickr/kurtxio)

A group of 12 students came together to create their own framed mosaics that pay homage to video games like Super Mario and Pokemon.

"We wanted to put a little bit of us in our work," said senior Clara Aguirre. "We were able to show a side of Von Steuben that we tend to hide. The artistic side."

Students working on the art installation. (Rita Bramble)

The plan was always to display the art in a vacant storefront, said Bramble who worked with the nonprofit North River Commission to find the right location for it.

Put on display in mid-March, the installation is expected to stay put through first week or two in April, Bramble said.

"I've seen art in storefronts in Wicker Park and Logan Square," Bramble said. "I really wanted to have it near the school."

The installation may later travel and be put on display in vacant storefronts in other neighborhoods, said Catherine Marchese, the education coordinator for the North River Commission.

But for now, the students are thrilled to see it in their neighborhood.

"We’re always looking at it," Aguirre said. "We’re able to see what we did. We look at it and are proud."

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