Artists sought to help dress up railroad retaining walls

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By Community Editor

COURTESY OF VILLAGE OF OAK PARK

Fifteen artists are being sought for mural projects intended to continue the transformation of the railroad retaining walls along the Green Line corridor from dull, blank concrete into canvases.

The community mini-mural project was launched in 2010 to promote creative expression and provide an enriching visual experience for residents and visitors alike.

Murals already have been painted on the railroad embankments along North and South boulevards at Oak Park Avenue near the Green Line station, as well as both east and west of Marion Street. Murals also have been installed on South Boulevard, east of Taylor Street.

Artists selected for these latest rounds of murals will continue to fill in the spaces along the viaduct in support in what officials call a long-range goal to intersperse colorful public art where possible along the entire length of the railroad from Harlem Avenue to Austin Boulevard.

Each artist selected to participate in the program receives $500 for materials prior to beginning the project and another $500 upon completion. The murals range in size from about six-feet-by-eight feet to six-feet-by-eleven feet. Deadline to apply for the first round is 5 p.m., Fri., May 2. Seven artists will be selected on Fri., May 23.

The concepts of another eight artists will be selected in late June. Deadline to apply for this round is 5 p.m., Fri., June 6.

Artists from throughout the area – not just Oak Park – are invited to participate. The winning concepts will be selected by a panel of judges from the Village's Public Arts Advisory Commission, Oak Park Area Arts Council and the local arts community.

Concepts are judged on artistic merit, appropriateness for a public way and originality. Paint is the only medium that may be used and should be of a quality to withstand weather conditions for a reasonable amount of time. All murals must be protected with clear sealant.

Interested artists must submit an application and a rendering of the proposed design, which must be vertical. Applications are available online at opa.ac and at www.oak-park.us/forms, as well as in Village Hall, 123 Madison St. Applicants must be at least 18 years old.

Citizens or businesses interested in sponsoring a mini mural are urged to call the Oak Park Area Arts Council at 708.358.5690 or e-mail info@oakparkareaartscouncil.org.

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