ROGERS PARK — The Rogers Park Business Alliance has commissioned a local artist to create a new mural on Clark Street.
The mural will be painted at the southwest corner of Clark Street and Lunt Avenue. The group has been working to revitalize the Rogers Park commercial district between Edgewater and Evanston and has begun to implement a master plan for the area that includes beautification.
Molly Costello, a local emerging artist, scored the $5,000 commission for the new mural. Originally from Southern California, Costello fell in love with Rogers Park 14 years ago when she was a student at Loyola.
Both her parents are painters but after studying graphic design, Costello left the art world to work with a small nonprofit in Rogers Park. The work was gratifying but exhausting, and in 2014 Costello returned to art as a way to “find some rest and healing” from the challenging work of community building.
“Art was a way for me to imagine a world that we could be building,” she said.
The Rogers Park Business Alliance was looking for a mural that would brand the neighborhood’s section of Clark Street with “cohesive imagery.” In the mural design, Costello hoped to portray the Rogers Park she had fallen in love with.
“I feel very rooted here,” she said. “I also really appreciate how dynamic and diverse the neighborhood is.”
Costello said she wanted to create a scene of everyday Rogers Park residents from all walks of life. In her rendering there are scenes of neighbors engaging in activities such as preparing food, working on bicycles, reading books and cutting hair.
The mural doesn’t have a name yet, but Costello is considering something along the lines of “Our Connected Community.” She added constellations as well to connect each of the characters on the mural.
“I used a lot of stars and constellations as a way to communicate a couple different messages,” she said. “When we break everything down we are all made of the same stardust. We are very much a part of one another.”
Costello wanted to honor the “unique light” that each Rogers Park resident is able to offer the community. She said each person’s light “deserves to be seen and honored.”
She also hopes the mural will serve as a sort of call to action — that neighbors might see the mural and reflect upon how they can stand up against injustice in their community.
Costello will get started on the mural next week and it will be completed sometime before June 15.
Check out the full renderings below: