Clef Notes Chicagoland Journal for the Arts
Rendering of new Wabash Arts Corridor mural by celebrated street artist Never 2501 (image courtesy of the artist).
The Wabash Arts Corridor (WAC), in partnership with Chicago Loop Alliance (CLA), Vertical Gallery and The Buckingham, will unveil on Monday, July 6 a new 8100-square-foot mural from Italian street artist Never 2501—the second mural in a new outdoor series along Wabash Avenue from acclaimed street artists including Banksy collaborator Ben Eine, Word to Mother, HERA and Hebru Brantley, whose Chi Boy mural was installed last month.
Never 2501’s mural will be located at The Buckingham, a student apartment building at 59 E. Van Buren Street, with installation beginning after a one-night pop-up event 6-9 p.m. on July 3 at Vertical Gallery. Other artists’ murals will follow throughout the summer, joining nine murals already lining the WAC, from Columbia College Chicago alumni as well as professional street artists like Shepard Fairey and POSE.
The mural project aligns with CLA’s Transforming Wabash initiative to revitalize Wabash Avenue from Congress Parkway to Wacker Drive and make the district more economically competitive, in this case strengthening and supporting the artistic, cultural and higher education institutions in the area. The Wabash Arts Corridor was formed by Columbia College Chicago and has been repurposing building walls in the area for several years as vibrant street art canvases.
“Enriching the pedestrian experience along Wabash Avenue is one of the most impactful and visceral improvements we can make to promote this district and drive economic development,” says CLA President and CEO Michael Edwards. “Our support of this mural project and the work of the Wabash Arts Corridor is a continuation of CLA’s commitment to create, manage and promote high-performing experiences in the Loop.”
Never 2501 is among the most important Italian artists in the international urban art scene. The artist has participated in numerous exhibitions and festivals all over the world, showing in prestigious institutions like the Center for Contemporary Art Luigi Pecci in Prato, the Milan Triennale, and the MACRO in Rome. In 2013 he participated in Back 2 Back to Biennale, an official satellite event of the 55th Venice Biennale, and in 2009 he won the Street Art Award at the Metropolis Art Prize 2009 with the video Mask, projected in Times Square, NYC. 2501 began painting at the age of 14 in his hometown of Milan. After living in Sao Paolo, Brazil, where he came in contact with the school of South American graffiti, the artist began experimenting with a range of techniques and materials, combining painting on canvas, mural painting, sculpture, installation, photography, video and documentary. The artist’s style is distinct from that of other artists for his sinuous and overwhelming wavy lines that invade the work surface, transforming it and giving it a feeling of movement and three-dimensionality. The work becomes hypnotic, capable of activating the imagination and the interpretation of the observer, conjuring images and possible visions. In order to create this effect, 2501 focuses on the simple chromatic pairing of black and white, at times embellished by the color gold.
The Wabash Arts Corridor (WAC) is Chicago’s “living urban canvas.” Founded in 2013, the WAC is one of the city’s major cultural assets comprised of eight educational institutions, 19 galleries, 14 performance spaces, five major hotels and more than 40 restaurants. Connecting local businesses and commerce with education, cultural programming and the visual, performing and media arts, the WAC is an urban lab for creative expression, innovation and excellence in the arts. For more information, visit www.WabashArtsCorridor.org.
New Never 2501 Mural to be Unveiled July 6 in Chicago as Part of Outdoor Series from Acclaimed Street Artists
Wabash Arts Corridor and Chicago Loop Alliance developing “living urban canvas” within historic Wabash Avenue district.