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Chicago Couple’s Huge Paintbrush Pride Display Has Turned Their Andersonville Home Into A Tourist Destination

Jesse Campbell and Nicholas Vazquez created the installation with a rainbow paintbrush, boas and walkway in support of LGBTQ communities.

The home in the 1700 block of West Balmoral Avenue has unveiled an elaborate Pride Month Display.
Joe Ward/Block Club Chicago
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ANDERSONVILLE — Andersonville resident Teresa Frith was driving out-of-town relatives to the airport Monday when she said the family had to check out one last sight: the giant Pride display in the neighborhood.

“They’re leaving, so I said we have to stop by,” Frith said. “I love it. Someone is very talented.”

The “someone” is Andersonville couple Jesse Campbell and Nicholas Vazquez, whose home in the 1700 block of West Balmoral Avenue sports a 12-foot-tall paintbrush and a rainbow-colored path leading from the curb to the house’s second floor.

Campbell and Vazquez got into the giant lawn display game at Halloween, when they put up a 12-foot skeleton in their front yard. It was a hit with the neighborhood, so the couple decided to show their solidarity for Pride Month in a similar fashion.

Credit: Facebook/Jesse Campbell
The home in the 1700 block of West Balmoral Avenue has unveiled an elaborate Pride Month Display.

The two put up their Pride display Thursday, drawing a steady stream of onlookers taking in its colorful and inclusive message.

Photos taken in front of the colorful home have been posted all over social media, with people traveling from all over the city to check it out.

“It was just something creative to do,” Vazquez said. “It blew up. All weekend, there was a line, people waiting” to take pictures.

The inspiration for the paintbrush and rainbow walkway came from a quote Campbell read on the internet: “Don’t be afraid to show off your true colors.”

They felt the message was perfect for Pride Month, in celebration of LGBTQ communities. Campbell, an interior designer, painted the quote on his home’s front steps and used a paintbrush and rainbow theme to illustrate the idea.

Campbell bought industrial-sized Styrofoam to make the oversized paintbrush, which the couple installed on top of their front porch. The tip of the brush carries the rainbow colors, as though it is dipped in paint, and rainbow boas hang from the porch’s balcony to the floor.

The home’s front walkway picks up the motif with a 24-foot, faux-brick walkway running from the porch to the curb. Vazquez, an actor, painted the walkway by hand.

“This year, we wanted to make [the Pride display] special and show support for the community,” Campbell said. “When people are themselves, they’re happier.”

Credit: Joe Ward/Block Club Chicago
Nicholas Vazquez (left) and Jesse Campbell’s Pride Month display home has attracted onlookers and selfie takers.

The home’s popularity with neighbors motivated Campbell and Vazquez to add a charitable aspect to the effort. On Monday, the couple installed lawn signs with QR codes enabling people to donate to The Trevor Project, a nonprofit focusing on suicide prevention in the LGBTQ community. To donate to the cause, click here.

The display has turned into a teachable moment for families, the couple said.

Over the weekend, Vazquez and Campbell heard families stop by and explain the quote and the rainbow motif to kids, teaching them concepts like inclusion and acceptance of others.

“It blew my mind,” Vazquez said. “We wanted to do something that was fun. It turns out to be something way bigger than us.”

The display will remain up for the rest of June. In the meantime, Campbell said he is already thinking about how to commemorate next year’s Pride Month, since this year’s display has been such a hit.

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