Monday, May 30, 2011

Western Avenue Series

Mile 8: 66th-58th Street
This painting is a part of my Western Avenue Series, through which I'll be making 24 watercolor paintings, one to document each mile of Western Avenue, in Chicago.  I started this project because while it is not considered to be among the most “beautiful” of Chicago’s streets, Western Avenue is a perfect place to document the humanness of Chicago, the positive and the negative. In the words of Stuart Dybek, "Western, with apologies to State Street, is a great street,  Unlike State, it is a street that goes to the interior, the heart of the city, as it glides and glows through a United Nations of neighborhoods."  Check back next Monday to see a post about the next mile of Western.
I was drawn to paint Wing Hung Restaurant to represent this mile of Western because with its large colorful sign, it seems begging to be seen.  That sentiment feels typical of this stretch of Western, which is densely populated by commercial establishments: the large Marquette Bank building, clothing stores, restaurants, insurance brokers and other businesses abound.  This feels like a commercial strip at the heart of this portion of the Chicago Lawn neighborhood.  

Click here to purchase this painting.

Where are the commercial centers where you live?

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