Mile 19: Diversey to Addison
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.
A viaduct is defined as a long bridgelike structure, typically a series of arches, carrying a road or railroad across a valley or other low ground. The Viaduct Theater in Chicago, which was established in 1998 is quite literally located under a viaduct that runs over Western Avenue. It is tucked under the viaduct, just south of Belmont in a bit of an out-of-the-way location. In fact, a number reviews of the theater note that it can be a bit hard to find. I was charmed by the unexpectedness of the location and the opportunity to bring life to otherwise, sparsely used portion of Western Avenue.
The viaduct theater provides a forum for theater, film, art, dance, and music. People describe theater as intimate, but not cramped. One reviewer said that, "the front rows were closer to the front of the stage than I've ever seen before." The space has been described as "hole-in-the-wall-ish," "feels grungy but it is very clean," and "a bit industrial."
I was entirely charmed by the theater and hope to see a performance there sometime soon.
Have you been to the viaduct theater?