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2 New Art Pieces Joining 'Mile Of Murals' In Rogers Park This Fall

By Linze Rice | August 31, 2017 8:22am
 The new
The new "Be Happy" mural at Glenwood and Estes, which pays homage to Thomas Kong's art installations at Kim's Corner Store across the street.
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DNAinfo/Linze Rice

ROGERS PARK — Rogers Park's colorful "Mile of Murals" project is about to get a lot longer with the upcoming installation of two new pieces: "Resilience" and "Be Happy."

The murals are part of an ongoing project that began in 2007 and seeks to create 19 large-scale public murals that follow the CTA Red Line track on Glenwood Avenue between Estes Avenue to Pratt Boulevard.

Every year since 2008, artists are rigorously selected by the Rogers Park Business Alliance and Special Service Area 24 to bring their designs to life, and 12 unique murals have been completed so far. 

Like the others, the newest additions aim to bring vibrancy and color to Glenwood and Morse avenue commercial districts, according to the business group. 

"Be Happy" is currently underway at the southeast corner of Glenwood and Estes and sits directly across from Kim's Corner Store, whose creative cut-out window art installations from owner Thomas Kong inspired the piece. 

Roman Susan Art Foundation and Kong are facilitating the mural's creation, and designed a concept meant to stimulate "visual movement" as well as highlight "a blend of dynamic color, playful, elegant abstraction and selective photo-realistic elements" which "honor ... the collage materials of the design."

Artist Gretchen Hasse's "Resilience" was chosen from a pool of 17 other artists and will soon begin her installation at a viaduct on the north side of Pratt. 

The piece features both people and urban landscapes with the word "Resilience" spread throughout in red paint meant to showcase "the perseverance of the human spirit."

Hasse said the mural comes from both a place of personal pain, as well as the resilience that comes along with rebounding from trauma — a trait she also sees in Rogers Park residents.

“I see evidence of resilience expressed in countless, unique ways by the residents of this neighborhood,” she said.

Though originally the mural project had a goal of completing the ambitious task in 10 years, Ana Bermúdez said a more realistic timeline would see the project finished in 2022. 

Still waiting to be painted are three long walls on Glenwood, a viaduct and 75 percent of another wall, she said. 

Check out the winning designs below, as well as the early start of "Be Happy."

Two new murals will be installed in Rogers Park this fall: "Be Happy," a piece from Roman Susan Collective inspired by local artist and business owner Thomas Kong, and "Resilience," by artist Gretchen Hasse. [Rogers Park Business Alliance]The new "Be Happy" mural at Glenwood and Estes, which pays homage to Thomas Kong's art installations at Kim's Corner Store across the street. [DNAinfo/Linze Rice]Kim's Corner Store and its owner has become known for its cut-out art installations displayed in the store's windows. [DNAinfo/Linze Rice]