CHICAGO — A commissioned mural from artist JC Rivera was painted over by city crews just days after it was finished near the Paulina Brown Line stop.
The mural — visible to those at that station or going by on the “L” — showed Rivera’s distinctive Bear Champ character amid swirls of white, orange and red. It was finished and on display for about two weeks before being painted over.
“Our hope is to bring it back,” said Lee Crandell, executive director of the Lakeview Chamber of Commerce, which commissioned the mural. “It’s too soon to know what the plan is to replace it, unfortunately.”
The Lakeview Chamber is working with the city to figure out a plan to restore the mural, Crandell said.
The mural was paid for by the local special service area, which collects tax dollars for neighborhood projects.
The mural was removed after someone called 311 and requested the mural be cleaned up, the Lakeview Chamber wrote on Facebook.
The city’s Dept. of Streets and Sanitation said it’s investigating what happened.
“… The mural had quickly become a beloved part of the neighborhood and we were devastated to see it removed,” the Lakeview Chamber wrote in a post on Facebook. “Lakeview has a strong commitment to public art and we are working with the City of Chicago to resolve this issue.”
When reached, Rivera, who designed a t-shirt for Block Club Chicago earlier this year, said he was unable to comment.
In a post on Instagram, he shared a screenshot of the Lakeview Chamber’s Facebook post and wrote, “Thanks for all your support.”