BUCKTOWN — A GoPro installed on a fence across from a mural was stolen on Tuesday. The camera's owner, artist Tony Passero, said he'd much rather focus on all the positive interactions he's had while working on the mural.
"I'm more upset about losing the video for the time-lapse. I hope that [the GoPro camera] went to a person who will use it to become the next great director or cinematographer," Passero said.
Passero did not file a police report for the stolen camera, which cost $400.
"I know people will say, ''Why did you put it there?' I just didn't think anyone would take it," Passero said.
Around 9:30 a.m. Tuesday, Passero said he installed the GoPro Hero5 camera on a fence at 1805 N. Damen Ave. in front of Churchill Park. The camera was pointed to a viaduct wall on the opposite side of the street, under The 606's elevated Bloomingdale where the mural is located.
Passero turned his back on the camera to get to work.
At 11:30 a.m. he looked across the street and saw the camera was gone.
The colorful mural with Aztec-like shapes and featuring a coyote was made possible by the city's Year of Public Art initiative which aims to highlight and create public works in "every nook and cranny of the city of Chicago," Mayor Rahm Emanuel said in June.
The mural's name, "CoyWolf," is a nod to the Northwest Tower, which was at one point was nicknamed the Coyote Building and home to an arts fest, Around the Coyote, that Passero and other longtime locals remember fondly.
Passero lives in Irving Park. But in the 1990s, he lived in Bucktown in the Ludwig Drum Factory lofts near the elevated Bloomingdale Trail. He would look out his window and see coyotes walking down the railroad tracks from time to time, he said.
"It was always like, is it a coyote or a wolf? So the mural combines both with CoyWolf," he said.
Passero, a prolific muralist who has works displyaed across the city, said he'd rather focus on the positive experiences he's had while creating the "CoyWolf" mural rather than his stolen GoPro.
"I'd much rather concentrate on all the positive vibes and warm reactions I'm getting from those who live in the community as well as the folks visiting our city. What is more important to me is that art is having a great impact. The 606 trail is a real gem in our city's treasures and my aim is to add to it with a piece of engaging public art," Passero said.
Passero said that he invited a young girl to paint with him after he noticed her family was taking photos of him working.
"It turns out they were visiting from Denmark. The mural [even in its unfinished state] got their attention and opened up a dialogue and allowed me to tell them about the 606 Trail," he wrote in an email.
"That is what this work is really about, not the loss of a camera," he wrote.
Check out some positive experiences Passero documented on social media during the making of "CoyWolf" and follow him on Twitter or Instagram for updates on the mural, which should be completed next week.