For the first time ever, Mayor Lori Lightfoot is being featured in a mural created in the city she serves.
“No matter where you stand with her, with her politics, she’s a part of Black Chicago history by default right there,” said Rahmaan Statik, the Chicago artist behind the mural. “As far as her policy goes, that’s not the conversation in this piece. But as far as acknowledging her as a part of Black Chicago history, that’s the given.”
The mural represents the past, present and future of the city, with the mayor representing both the present and the future of Chicago.
“She’s currently what’s happening right there,” Statik said. “I even have her placed next to Harold Washington — there’s a reason behind that. She’s the second Black mayor of the city of Chicago right there and that just means a lot to black people. It just does. It builds morale to see people that look like you, winning and making it.”
The mural was commissioned by Dream Spots Real Estate, a South Shore firm that wanted to create something to celebrate its 10-year anniversary.
“This building sits on a unique angle where you can see it coming from 76th and Jeffery,” Dream Spots owner Perdure Carter said.
Together, Carter and Statik came up with other featured faces and landmarks that reflect the city’s history, including the Chatham bungalows, the iconic image of the Bronzeville boys, and children playing basketball at Cabrini-Green. But these aren’t the only landmarks.
“It’s a landmark for the neighborhood right there. Our initiative though was to create a community-based landmark. To the likes of which you have the gate on 26th Street in Little Village, in Chinatown on Cermak, the Puerto Rican flag over Division. This is the same thing for South Shore,” Statik said.
The mural is located at the intersection of 76th Street and Jeffery Boulevard, right behind Dream Spots in South Shore.
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Angel Idowu is the JCS Fund of the DuPage Foundation Arts Correspondent.