Think You Know the Best of the Cultural Mile? | Welcome the Newest Additions to the Wabash Arts Corridor

12 October 2017

The public art that enlivens Chicago is far from static, continually evolving with the works of local and international names. Along with EXPO CHICAGO, which brings world-renowned artists to exhibit throughout the city, Wabash Arts Corridor thrives as it continues to support new street art installations. As a 1000M resident, this immersive public art experience is a few steps from your porte-cochère.

Wabash Arts Corridor Crawl

As part of the Chicago Cultural Plan introduced in 2013, The Wabash Arts Corridor has brought local, national and international artists to electrify the South Loop with mural installations. What was started by Mark Kelly, then the Vice President of Student Success at Columbia College, as a few murals to brighten the South Loop Campus, has snowballed into a fantastic public art collection throughout 1000M’s neighborhood.

In its fifth year, the Wabash Arts Corridor (WAC) Crawl, coordinated by Columbia College of Chicago, illuminates the newest installations in the WAC, along with providing rich educational and cultural programming that connects the South Loop. The Crawl, which will run the length of the Wabash Arts Corridor and have events throughout the South Loop neighborhood, will take place October 20th from 4-9 p.m.

“One highlight of the Crawl is a curated tour of the Corridor’s new murals,” explains Shannon Bourne who, as the Assistant Director of Student Activities at Columbia College, plays a large role in bringing together the WAC Crawl.

This year brings eight new works, raising the number of murals produced to almost 50.

La Magia de Luzia by Gloria "Gloe" Talamantes
La Magia de Luzia by Gloria “Gloe” Talamantes

Of the eight new murals, Bourne is particularly excited about a recent installation at 33 E. Congress Parkway, La Magia de Luzia, a mural of colorful, wispy butterfly wings adorned with flowers, by Gloria “Gloe” Talamantes. Cirque du Soleil’s Luzia production, which celebrates the richness of Mexican culture, inspired this painted installation.

Talamantes explains that watching Luzia “immediately made me think of the many design links that make up my grandma’s dollies. I allowed the connection to guide the process of the mural’s details.”

Other new murals include Shinique Smith’s Untitled at 1600 South State Street, a mural on a turquoise background that morphs flowers and street tags into a single image. Also not to be missed is The Seeds We Plant Today Determine Our Growth For Tomorrow by Sam Kirk on 13th Street between Wabash and Michigan Avenues, which depicts Dolores Huerta of United Farm Workers.

Columbia College's Wabash Arts Corridor Crawl

Shops, restaurants and galleries beyond Columbia College are also very much involved in the WAC Crawl. The Elephant Room Gallery, just around the corner on Wabash Avenue from 1000M, will host a drawing contest from 4-9 p.m. called People Watch & Draw. Bourne explains, “Guests will be invited to draw a person, post to Instagram and be entered to win prizes! It’s a really innovative way to get people involved in the local art scene.”

“The Crawl is free and for everyone, not just the Columbia College community,” Bourne explains. “We want to engage with all of our neighbors in the South Loop.”

And as a 1000M resident, it won’t be hard to step out your front door and dive into Chicago’s living urban campus.

WAC Crawl // Wabash Avenue Between Van Buren and Roosevelt // Oct. 20, 4-9 p.m.

For more information on the WAC Crawl please contact the 1000M Sales Gallery at or by calling 312-781-7510.