LAKEVIEW — Just weeks after a new small-format Target opened right across the street, a 4,000-square-foot mural has gone up at the intersection of Lincoln, Ashland and Belmont.
The mural was designed by Chicago artist Anthony Lewellen, who grew up in Lakeview and attended Lake View High School.
The piece shows a woman looking through binoculars with the cityscape behind her. Reflected in the binoculars is a sky and water scene.
[Provided/Lakeview Chamber of Commerce]
"It's literally a lake view, but it's been interpreted symbolically as this playful metaphor," Lewellen said. "If you think about it a little bit, you get it. In lieu of just painting something like, 'Hey, this is Lakeview,' I wanted to do something that interpreted that in a fun and accessible way for the neighborhood."
The mural is part of the city's Year of Public Art initiative and is funded by Special Service Area 27. Lewellen applied to do a project through the initiative, and in August the Lakeview Chamber of Commerce reached out to him and asked him to submit two proposals for a mural at this location.
Lewellen submitted his proposals the same month, found out he was selected and began painting only a few weeks ago.
"I only started painting early October, toward the end of the first week," he said. "So that's actually pretty fast. I did a really large-scale project for Radio Flyer recently, and that was in planning for almost a year, and it was half the size of what I'm doing now."
In fact, this mural is the largest Lewellen has ever painted.
"One of the things that's really unique about this wall is the location and the scale of it," he said. "It's 4,000 square feet, which is larger than any piece I've created, so I really wanted to take advantage of the scale. I wanted to create something big and bold and iconic, something that would take advantage of the site-specific dynamics that were going on, but at the same time I wanted to create something that was playful and fun and something the neighborhood would really relate to and identify with."