The beauty of potholes

CHICAGO If Chicagoans could vote on the worst pothole year ever, the winner would certainly be the winter of 2008. Flat tires, damaged frames and lost hubcaps. There has been absolutely nothing beautiful about it --except for a North Side woman who finds beauty in the strangest places. Potholes are the exclamation points to our miserable winter. They turned our lousy weather into bone jarring torture. But for North Side artist Nancy Pinzke they are part of a beautiful city landscape.

"I want to turn them into art," said Pinzke. "Absolutely. I'll start a new movement."

Chances are Pinzke is the only person to turn street craters into paintings. For the last month, that's exactly what she's been doing. She prints out her photos, selects the ones she likes and then using pastels fixes up potholes better than the department of streets and san.

"It's changed my attitude completely on potholes. At first I thought it was something awful to be endured and now I see it as art," said Pinzke.

The retired graphic artist is recovering from cancer treatments. She said her ordeal has made her look deeper into the world around her -- including looking deeper into potholes.

"I'll made a note of a really good pothole, meaning bad pothole. And then, I'll come back to it and sometimes I'll be disappointed when they've filled it," said Pinzke.

Sometimes it's amazing how artists can see things that non-artists can't. That's certainly the case for this pothole art.

"I thought I could turn it into art and I think I succeeded," said Pinzke, "at least from my own standpoint."

Pinzke has discovered what every artist needs. Models that don't charge for their time -- and that she will never run out of.

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