A graffiti character wearing a Meeting of Styles shirt, which was painted on a 100th Street viaduct during the 2021 Chicago gathering of street artists. Credit: Maxwell Evans/Block Club Chicago

SOUTH CHICAGO — Street artists from across the country will add bursts of color and creativity to South Side viaducts and walls this weekend as the Meeting of Styles gathering returns to Chicago.

The Meeting of Styles is Friday through Sunday, centered around two intersections: 93rd Street and Commercial and South Chicago avenues in South Chicago, and 59th Street and Hoyne Avenue in West Englewood.

Artists will set up at more than 100 spots across the two neighborhoods. Both intersections neighbor numerous viaducts, while the South Chicago spot is near prolific urban artist Roman Villarreal’s Nine3 Studios, where street artists practice on a triangular installation in the studio’s yard.

The gathering unites graffiti artists from Chicago and beyond, who learn from each other and appreciate their differing techniques during the event. Several community programs coincide with this year’s meetup.

Boar, a North Side graffiti artist who’s spent 30 years in the culture, paints a viaduct wall along 100th Street Sept. 19. Credit: Maxwell Evans/Block Club Chicago

Southeast Side environmental groups will host a Saturday showing of “The Hills,” a documentary about the Schroud Superfund site at 126th Street and Avenue O.

The screening, which includes a community open house and a Q&A session about the site’s environmental and health concerns, is 6 p.m. Saturday at 9310 S. South Chicago Ave.

Neighbors will also host a guided bike tour on Sunday of historic murals and the new works created by Meeting of Styles artists. To reserve free bikes for the ride, click here.

The ride rolls out at 10:30 a.m. Sunday from 93rd Street and Commercial Avenue. It will end around noon so attendees have time to watch the annual Mexican Patriotic Parade, organizers said.

The parade kicks off 1 p.m. from 87th Street and Commercial Avenue and heads south to 100th Street.

Knocke, of Chicago’s CWB crew, shows off stickers featuring characters he employs in his art. They’re a drastic departure from the style of his mural along the 100th Street viaducts, which incorporate angular letters — a graffiti staple. Credit: Maxwell Evans/Block Club Chicago

The Meeting of Styles began in 1997 at the Schlachthof Wiesbaden cultural center in Germany. The most recent local edition of the traveling, international gathering of graffiti artists was held in South Chicago in September 2022.

Meeting of Styles was held in 2019, at the viaducts near the intersection of Commercial and South Chicago Avenues. Some murals from the last event are still visible.

In “times before, I think everybody hated graffiti because everybody thinks it’s something territorial, or gangs or stuff like that,” Knocke, a member of Chicago’s CWB crew, told Block Club in 2021.

“There’s something more than that — there’s something important here,” he said.

“People should really realize how everybody comes together to make [Chicago’s Meeting of Styles] happen,” local artist Viril the Mouse said. “People take money out of their pockets to buff the wall black, to clean the pathway — it’s just something beautiful.”

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