New public artworks on Chicago Riverwalk celebrate city's history, diverse communities

CHICAGO (WLS) -- There are new public artworks on the Chicago Riverwalk celebrating the city's history and diverse communities.

The artwork includes a mural celebrating 100 years of Art Deco by artist Kate Lynn Lewis and portraits of Chicagoans by street muralist Dont Fret.

"The new artworks on the Riverwalk continue Chicago's rich tradition of murals and public art," said Mark Kelly, Commissioner of DCASE. "These commissions support local artists and enrich our second waterfront, as Chicago welcomes visitors - and residents - back to our city, safely and responsibly."

Dont Fret's series of portraits called "The People in Your Neighborhood" can now be found near Lake Street and just west of Michigan Avenue you can find "The Radiance of Being" by Kate Lynn Lewis.

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New public artworks by Art Deco Artist Kate Lynn Lewis and street muralists Dont Fret are being installed along Chicago's Riverwalk.

"There are certain character traits that I think define a true Chicagoan. Tough, full-browed with a sense of ingenuity and midwestern humbleness, but always toiling, working, moving forward with an almost absurd laugh and grin about this crazy, wonderful city," said Dont Fret. "I was asked to paint 55 portraits of Chicagoans who I think contribute to the hard work that defines our city, although it can only scratch the surface of the millions of stories moving through our streets. These are the people in your neighborhood."

The 180-foot long mural celebrates a hundred years of Art Deco architecture in Chicago and features motifs including the Chicago Motor Club, the St. Jane, One N. LaSalle, 10 W. Elm St., the Palmolive Building, the Palmer House, the Adler Planetarium and many more.

"Having the opportunity to give back to the city that has developed me as an artist and a person has been the experience of a lifetime," said artist Kate Lynn Lewis. "The Riverwalk is surrounded on all angles by art deco architecture, so it felt like a great opportunity to expound on the immersive experience of painting a deco collage inspired by motifs found in the area. I love that this experience is just one of countless examples of how Chicago has invested in the creative culture that makes it so beautifully unique."

A mural on one of the Riverwalk interior walls shows a map of where these buildings can be found in the city.

Access to the space is free and open to the public daily from 6am-11pm. Face coverings and physical distancing are required for all visitors.

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