Under City Stone
Alewives and Mercury Fish
Childhood is Without Prejudice
Where We Come From…Where We’re Going
All of Mankind
Restoring Community Public Art
Under City Stone was created spontaneously on the street: passersby provided instant critique and stopped to pose for the artists. Colors were mixed directly on the wall. The inclusion of the poem Rapid Transit by James Agee mixed text and image in a way that has become almost commonplace today. Under City Stone influenced mural painters around the city, the nation, and the world.
Former resident and renowned Midwest muralist, Caryl Yasko, creator of
Ms. Yasko and Chicago Public Art Group believe the message of the mural is still relevant to the world today; we travel the world with determination, aware that our environment suffers from human degradation, however we believe our lives can make a difference.
This classic underpass mural was painted as an indictment of the industrial pollution of the Great Lakes, especially the consequence of the invasion of alewives into the freshwater lakes, an event here witnesses by a procession of local residents. Humans’ subjugation of nature is thematically linked to scenes of shackled and liberated black people. The mural closes as mothers of all races nestle their infants and fish swim freely. Excerpted from “Urban Art” by Olivia Gude and Jeff Huebner.
Sometimes referred to as Children of Goodwill. Walker created this mural as a tribute to nearby Harte School. His daughter had attended school there and Walker wanted to express his appreciation for the school’s promotion of racial harmony. The tripartite mural, Walker’s personal favorite, includes a series of interlocking faces representing the potential unity of all races. Walker originally used interlocking faces in his work to symbolize brotherhood in the black community; in later works he painted faces of various hues and genders to challenge people toi engage in the difficult task of forming interracial bonds. Excerpted from “Urban Art” by Olivia Gude and Jeff Huebner.
For this oral history mural on the Metra underpass in Hyde Park, Gude asked various passersby, “Where are you coming from? Where are you going?” The images and words are drawn from photos of the people and their taped responses, which ranged from the mundane to the political to the metaphysical.
Walker spent three years covering the exterior and interior of the San Marcello Mission Church with murals about the unity--and disunity--of the human race. Located at the edge of the Cabrini-Green public housing complex, the church facade features one of Walker’s recurring motifs: four heads, representing different races, interlocked in a symbol of brotherhood and goodwill. Around the window is a list of civil rights-related martyrs and events, including Dr. King, Medgar Evers, the My Lai Massacre, and the shootings at Kent State. The future of Chicago’s “little Sistine Chapel,” now the Strangers Home Missionary Baptist Church, is uncertain. Efforts are being made to save the church and the mural.