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The Wabash Arts Corridor

October 14, 2019

We believe that art isn’t something that should be confined to galleries, frames, and the indoors. Instead, we think that art should be something we move through and experience every day. We think cities should be canvases and that buildings should be beautiful. That’s why we are so excited to be part of the Wabash Arts Corridor.

The corridor came about in 2013 when Colombia College Chicago launched a project that aimed to engage students and community in the use of renewable resources to create art that would turn the South Loop into a cultural centerpiece for the city. The heart of WAC is Wabash Avenue from Van Buren to Roosevelt and is framed to the east by Michigan Avenue and to the west by State Street and the number of installations, murals, and art pieces is constantly growing. Alongside the murals and street art, there are also eight educational institutions, 19 galleries and 14 performance spaces.

The most visible part of the corridor are the big walls. This program began in 2016 when local galleries, sponsors, and the WAC worked together to bring artists to the WAC and paint huge murals. These murals showcase the diversity and vibrancy of the neighbourhood, city, and arts scene. Not only are the pieces of public art beautiful, we believe they set the tone for a creative, disruptive, and innovative neighbourhood and community which reflects its surroundings.

At The Paragon, we wanted to be part of this project and so we commissioned our own mural by world-renowned artist MadC. MadC aka Claudia Walde, is one of few women to have risen to the top of the street art scene. She’s been tirelessly creating art for everyone for over two decades and we could not have been happier to partner with her to turn one of the walls of The Paragon into something we could share with our community.

Of course, we didn’t want to do something small, in fact we wanted to do something huge. The installation, which is titled the “1000 Wall” is 1000 square meters and took two weeks, thirty gallons of bucket paint and one thousand and ninety three Molotow spray cans to complete. For the first time ever, Mad C had to have PT for her sore arm thanks to the scale of the project.

Of course, there are smaller arts projects in the corridor as well. A recent project decorated doors – garage, side, service doors and more – and turned them into vibrant murals. Not everyone needs to be a world renowned street artist either, this project has been accepting submissions from the public.

We believe that being part of the Wabash Arts Corridor will add real value to your life at the Paragon. Moving between your own curated space and public art spaces just as you move between your private living space and our curated co-work spaces is an important part of the lifestyle that we are trying to create for Paragon residents. We also believe in being part of a community, and contributing to art in the community that costs nothing to enjoy and elevates everybody’s daily experience is important to us. We really hope that you’ll come and visit our living canvas and enjoy watching the corridor grow and change alongside the community.