Mayor Emanuel and City Officials Unveil Monumental Kerry James Marshall Mural on the Chicago Cultural Center

Chicago's KJM Mural
Artist Kerry James Marshall works on the details on a section of his mural on the Chicago Cultural Center’s Garland Court entrance facade. Photo: Patrick L. Pyszka

A gift to the city, Kerry James Marshall’s largest artwork to-date honors 20 iconic Chicago women

CHICAGO—(ENEWSPF)—December 4, 2017

By: Rosemary Piser

Today, Mayor Rahm Emanuel and the Chicago Department of Cultural Affairs and Special Events (DCASE), alongside internationally renowned artist and MacArthur Fellow Kerry James Marshall, unveiled his epic, large-scale mural on the Chicago Cultural Center, 78 E. Washington St.. The mural honors 20 women who have shaped the Chicago’s vibrant arts and culture landscape. The 132-foot by 100-foot mural will be the largest artwork he has ever designed or created.

At the unveiling, Mayor Emanuel said, “Chicago is recognized across the country and around the world as an epicenter of innovative art, architecture and design. Kerry James Marshall’s new mural on the iconic Chicago Cultural Center is not just a celebration of Chicago’s legacy of public art, but it is also a continuation of creativity and culture that continues to inspire us”.

“When I was asked to design a mural for narrow Garland Court, it was immediately clear to me that the site had to be ‘opened up’ in some way,” said Kerry James Marshall. “My solution was a park-like view with a bright sun and stand of trees to bring light and green space to the location while at the same time honoring the mission of the building as the hub of artistic activity in Chicago. My idea was to make of the trees a kind of Forest Rushmore acknowledging the contribution of 20 women who’ve worked to shape the cultural landscape of the city, past and present.”

The 20 women represented in Kerry James Marshall’s mural are a who’s who of Chicago’s arts and culture community:

  • Susanne Ghez, Director and Chief Curator for nearly 40 years, The Renaissance Society
  • Barbara Gaines, Founder and Artistic Director, Chicago Shakespeare Theater
  • Jacqueline Russell, Founder and Artistic Director, Chicago Children’s Theatre
  • Ruth Page, Dancer, Choreographer and Founder, Ruth Page Center for the Arts
  • Lois Weisberg, Longest-serving Commissioner of the Chicago Department of Cultural Affairs
  • Maggie C. Daley, Longest-serving First Lady of the City of Chicago
  • Jackie Taylor, Founder and CEO, Black Ensemble Theater
  • Monica Haslip, Founder and Executive Director, Little Black Pearl
  • Abena Joan Brown, Founder, eta Creative Arts Foundation
  • Margaret Burroughs, Founder, DuSable Museum of African American History
  • Harriet Monroe, Founder, Poetry Magazine
  • Cheryl Lynn Bruce, Co-founder, Goodman Theatre / Dearborn Homes Youth Drama Workshop
  • Sandra Delgado, Founding Ensemble Member, Collaboraction
  • Jane M. Saks, President and Artistic Director, Project& and Founding Executive Director, Ellen Stone Belic Institute for the Study of Women and Gender in the Arts and Media
  • Barbara Jones-Hogu, Founding Member, AfriCobra
  • Gwendolyn Brooks, Literary Icon
  • Sandra Cisneros, Literary Icon
  • Achy Obejas, Award-winning writer
  • Oprah Winfrey, Cultural Icon
  • Joan Gray, Dancer and Longtime President of Muntu Dance Theatre of Chicago

For more information, visit cityofchicago.org/yopa—and join the conversation on Facebook (Department of Cultural Affairs and Special Events), Twitter and Instagram, @ChicagoDCASE #2017isYOPA #ChiPublicArt. To learn about the history and arts programming at the Chicago Cultural Center presented by the Department of Cultural Affairs and Special Events, visit chicagoculturalcenter.org—and join the conversation on Facebook (Chicago Cultural Center) and Twitter, @ChiCulturCenter.

Chicago Department of Cultural Affairs and Special Events
The Department of Cultural Affairs and Special Events is dedicated to enriching Chicago’s artistic vitality and cultural vibrancy. This includes fostering the development of Chicago’s non-profit arts sector, independent working artists and for-profit arts businesses; providing a framework to guide the City’s future cultural and economic growth, via the 2012 Chicago Cultural Plan; marketing the City’s cultural assets to a worldwide audience; and presenting high-quality, free and affordable cultural programs for residents and visitors.

Source: www.cityofchicago.org