Public Art Works 2013 - 2019
Kate Lewis Mural
Chicago-based muralist Kate Lynn Lewis created the 65’x20’ mural on the west wall of Sketchbook Brewing, 4901 Main Street, in fall 2020.
Her “Impossible Geometry” mural work is inspired by the concept of “Strange Loops” first explored by Douglas Hofstadter in his book “I Am a Strange Loop.” The idea of a strange loop is that everything becomes itself. No matter what course you take in Kate’s murals, you’ll always end up finding your way back into the design. Her patterns force the brain to think creatively in an attempt to make sense of an impossible arrangement of lines. This creates an experience that is completely unique by every viewer who interacts with it and makes the art collaborative in its interpretation.
In addition to the numerous murals that Kate has completed in Chicago, her mural work can be found in Las Vegas, New York, Atlanta, San Antonio, New Orleans and more. She also has done work YETI, Google, the Chicago Bulls and Wrigley Field.
To view more of her work visit:
Jeff Zimmerman Mural
Chicago-based muralist Jeff Zimmermann created the mural on the east wall of Skokie Ace Hardware, 5035 Oakton Street in fall 2018.
A native of Chicago, Jeff Zimmermann has achieved national and international recognition for his large scale murals featuring painted images of contemporary pop culture and sensitively rendered portraits. His images are discrete and floating, knitted together by geometric areas of flat color. Zimmermann’s paintings have the sex appeal of commercial art, and any irony surrounding that connection is light and playful. The artist’s background as a graphic designer explains his shrewd use of flashy and graphic forms which also permeate the mass media (Zimmermann’s self-proclaimed competition), operating on the theory that we all deeply love flashy stuff.
Icarus by Tom Scarff
S. Thomas is a full-time sculptor based in Chicago. His use of illumination can be seen in “Icarus”. Icarus is 24' x 6' x 6' and is made of Aluminum, LED and Neon.
The title of Scarff’s piece will immediately recall the old tale of young Icarus who, with his craftsman father Daedalus, attempted to escape their imprisonment by crafting wings. Ignoring his father’s warnings and acting on every young boy’s impulse, Icarus flew too close to the sun, melting the makeshift wings causing him to plummet to Earth. In “Icarus”, the bronze boy is seen in descent, while the sculpture’s curved silver beams create the appearance of rapid downward motion.
Scarff is truly a master of sculptures and light use, and “Icarus” is as ambitious a use of his skills as were Daedalus’ wings.
Chicago-based creative Shawn Smith, known as Shawnimals, created the mural at Mini Man Monkey Brains, 7927 Lincoln Avenue, in July 2018.
Shawnimals has been many things over the years, in the beginning, his doodles and drawings merely adorned the margins of his notepads in school. Over time, they evolved, becoming the perfect mix of being iconic and recognizable yet open enough to allow someone's imagination to take the designs even further.
Learn more about Shawnimals at
Nate Otto Mural
Nate Otto painted his cityscape mural on the second floor north wall of 8042 Lincoln Avenue in Downtown Skokie in June 2018.
Nate Otto is an artist, illustrator, and muralist based in Chicago. His work occupies its own lane somewhere in between the worlds of folk art, street art, lowbrow art, and contemporary fine art. His paintings and drawings are ruminations on urban life and landscape and stylistic explorations into what Nate dubs “whateveriwanttodoism.”
In addition to art shows in Chicago, Austin, and San Francisco, Nate has done dozens of murals in Chicago, and additional mural work in Detroit, San Francisco, Santa Clara, and Madison. He has also done client work with Apple, Vans, and others, and illustration for NPR, Warby Parker, and Basecamp.
To view more of his work visit:
Leap by Boyan Marinov
Leap by Boyan Marinov was installed at the North Shore Center for the Performing Arts in Skokie (NSCPAS), 9501 Skokie Boulevard, on December 3, 2017. Leap measures 14 feet high by 14 feet in diameter and is made of stainless steel. Before being installed at the NSCPAS is was exhibited along State Street in Downtown Chicago and along the Lake Shore Path.
Through Leap, Marinov reminds us of the intricacies of the human body by creating the human form out of thousands of pieces of steel. Using hand-cut steel fragments, he welds them together to create a sleek figure that is appreciated for the whole, not the sum of its parts.
With outstretched arms Leap is daring and sure. A diver slicing into water, swimming in air, never falling. We can see the certainty and share in the optimism that is on full display.
Leap is located at the North Shore Center for the Performing Arts in Skokie, 9501 Skokie Boulevard.
The Night Butterfly by Janet Austin
The Night Butterfly by Janet Austin was installed on November 2, 2016 along the Skokie Valley Trail at Lincoln Avenue (north of the intersection of Jarvis Avenue and Lincoln Avenue). This sculpture is made of steel, concrete and mosaic tiles. Before being permanently placed at its current location, it was exhibited at the Northshore Sculpture Park for two years.
The artist believes all creatures, not just the beautiful ones are important to this world.
She states, “The title Night Butterfly alludes to its intrinsic beauty by association with the more glamourous butterfly. Yet the moth isn’t the ugly stepsister but beautiful and beneficial in its own right”.
Curragh Irish Pub Mural by Astro Odv Cbs
Paris-based artist Astro Odv Cbs painted a 3D mural at the Curagh Irish Pub in Downtown Skokie on October 27, 28 and 29, 2017.
Astro first started painting in 2000 in the northern suburbs of Paris. Astro is self taught and passionate about his work. Focusing on lettering and Wildstyle in his early days, Astro brings his know-how and technique to an abstract art that combines curves, calligraphy and dynamic forms. Inspired by artists such as Hartung, Vasarely or Mucha, Astro has created its own universe by exploiting the subtlety of shadows and lights, the strength of colors and the perspective of the depths. At ease on large formats, through the walls on which he inscribed his art in the heart of the city, Astro also likes studio work. Thanks to its spontaneous and impulsive pattern, Astro deceives the spectator's eye by distorting the planeness of the facades and canvases, creating impressive optical illusions.
Astro's mural can be found at the Curragh Irish Pub at 8266 Lincoln Avenue in Skokie.
Sick Fisher Mural
Chicago-based artist Sick Fisher painted the 3,200 square-foot north wall of The Skokie Theatre in August 2017. The project took him nearly four weeks to complete.
After graduating from The Florida State University in 2008, Fisher moved to Chicago in 2009 to continue his work as an artist.
Fisher works in large scale murals as well as on a variety of smaller surfaces that include canvas, paper, wood, plastic, metal, brick, and glass. Based in Humboldt Park, most of Sick Fisher's work can be seen on California Ave as well as up and down Milwaukee Ave in Logan Square. Other neighborhoods with Fisher's public work are Rogers Park, Lakeview, Evanston, Downtown, and West Loop.
In addition to his commercial endeavors, Fisher's true passion is upgrading neglected spaces such as abandoned storefronts and walls with site-specific murals or designs.
Sick Fisher's mural is located at the Skokie Theatre, 7924 Lincoln Avenue.
Tim Kerr Mural
Austin, Texas-based artist Tim Kerr created the "Dream Big" mural in late August 2017 while in Skokie for his solo exhibit, YOUR Name Here, at Miishkooki Art Space, 8105 Skokie Blvd.
Tim Kerr is perhaps best known as a musician and co-founder of the influential Austin hardcore band the Big Boys, but he has also made a name as an artist and painter and has created murals around the world.
Focusing primarily on important historical figures, Kerr paints on various materials such as maps, skateboard decks and cardboard.
Peruvian-Canadian muralist Peru created the "Skokie" mural at North Branch Yoga over Fourth of July weekend 2017.
Trained in both, traditional and digital art, and taking from his 20 years painting graffiti, Peru found his calling as a muralist and graphic artist. While still distancing himself from labels and limitations, he continues to explore his imagination through different mediums. Some of Peru’s clients include:
- Cirque du Soleil
- Maple Leaf Sports
- Montreal Museum of Fine Arts
- Red Bull
As a proponent of the ‘Graffuturism’ movement, much of Peru’s artistic energy today is dedicated to advancing the traditions of graffiti and mural art into new imaginative territory. The geometric complexity of his work—partially rooted, no doubt, in his early appreciation of Quechua textiles—is made more readable by his simplified and saturated colour palette. For Peru, this commitment to the advancement and intermingling of graffiti and mural art is not opposed to tradition but involves, instead, an attempt to extend and enrich tradition. For Peru, artistic tradition is not a synonym for the out-dated or the unchanging. ‘Tradition’ for Peru refers to the living attempt to reflect the joy of the everyday in material works of art.
Peru currently calls Toronto ‘home’ where he lives with his beautiful wife. Find out more about Peru on the Peru 143 website.
View a video on this project.
The Peru Murals are located at:
North Branch Yoga
8056 Lincoln Avenue
Skokie, IL 60077
Starburst by Dan Shaughnessy IV
Starburst by Dan Shaughnessy IV was installed in early December 2016 at Krier Plaza in Downtown Skokie. Starburst is made of stainless steel, LEDs and glass globe and measures 22 feet high.
Dan Shaughnessy IV brings his love of metal and abstract forms to a grand representation in Starburst. The glass globe thrives regardless of its surroundings. Surrounded by metal, the light is still there and manages to provide sustenance to all who are near. Like the sun, it flourishes.
We lose sight of the fact that everything is constantly in motion. When there is no light coming from Starbust, it is still charging and garnering the strength to provide light when it is most needed. The solar lights provide the opportunity to escape the darkness.
The murals at Al's Cycle Shop and Euro Echo Cafe were created by internationally known street artist, WrdSmth, on November 29 and 30, 2016.
WrdSmth resides in Los Angeles (LA), California where his work consist of the classic typewriter, with varying positive messages on a white page above. His work can be seen all over the world, from New York City to Paris.
His artwork struck a cord with those on social media where his Instagram following has surpassed 100,000.
The murals are located at:
Al's Cycle Shop
8118 Lincoln Avenue
Skokie, IL 60077
Euro Echo Care
7919 Lincoln Avenue
Skokie, IL 60077
Watch how the Wrdsmth Murals are made.
Grace, Arabella & Davide by Michael Gard
The three suspended lighted wire sculptures were installed San Francisco based artist, Michael Gard, at the North Shore Center for the Performing Arts in Skokie on November 11, 2016 in celebration of the Center's 20th anniversary.
Since 2008 he has been incorporating LED lights into some of the work, such as the ones at the North Shore Center. Gard has used brightly colored enameled wires since 2011.
Gard was born in London in 1971, he moved to the United States in 1994 and has maintained a full-time sculpture studio since 1995. He resides in San Francisco with his wife Andrea and sons Milo and Felix.
The sculptures are located at:
North Shore Center for the Performing Arts
9501 Skokie Boulevard
Skokie, IL 60077
Lauren Asta Mural
Lauren Asta is a San Francisco artist specializing in illustration, oddity art, doodle art, street art and murals. Her art studio is known as the Arthole and is located in Alameda, California. Her murals are all hand painted without any aid of a sketch, projector, or traced outlined. She works completely free hand.
The goal of the mural project was to promote artistic talent and engage the community by turning empty walls into public canvases thus having a lasting effect on local neighborhoods. The Miishkooki mural took about two weeks to create during October and November of 2016. The fact that the Miishkooki Art Space is located on a busy street of both foot traffic and car traffic, meant a lot of people seeing the growth of the mural from start to finish. By the third day, much of the neighborhood had approached Asta and asked what she was doing? Many returned on a daily basis to ask more curious questions about art, Asta's process, why she was doing this and to take pictures.
For Asta, it is an opportunity to educate and expose the public to something they maybe aren't too familiar with, or have ever even had a chance to be in proximity of. Public art gives us the opportunity to express emotion, identify with expression, to feel desire, to resonate with an experience, to connect with each other and ultimately to feel human. The mural is welcoming, approachable and was extremely well received. Asta said it was exciting to see people get excited and become alive from something new and different. A finished mural for Asta is always a beautiful thing, but the conversations it creates and the community it builds through connections and relationships is always her desired result. Humans can experience art by letting it move them from the everyday into the world of endless possibilities.
The mural is located at:
Miishkooki Art Space
4517 Oakton Street
Skokie, IL 60077
Windswept by Gary Kulak
Windswept by Gary Kulak was installed on August 25, 2016 at the pocket park at Niles Center Road and Skokie Boulevard. Windswept is made of welded, powder-coated steel and measures 18 feet by 4 feet by 4 feet.
Throughout the years Kulak’s work has evolved but continues to represent the individual human spirit and the multitude of emotions felt at any given point in time. There are many different views and perspectives through and around the high chairs for everyone to enjoy.
His work characterizes a distinct and intentional work ethic with a focus on structure. Simple elegance, physical forces, spiritual energy and contemporary issues all play an important role in his work.
Windswept is located at Niles Center Road and Skokie Boulevard.
Entwinement II by Frederik Napoli
Entwinement II by Frederick Napoli was installed on October 11, 2015 at the Skokie Valley Trail and Dempster Street. Entwinement II is made of painted welded aluminum and measures 9 feet 6 inches by 6 feet 6 inches by 6 feet inches.
Entwinement II echoes the vitality found in the young and old who live their life in the city. It conveys their tendencies to thrive in this unique environment despite it being challenging, stimulating and rewarding all at once.
Fred Napoli utilizes vibrant colors and intertwining elements to express the influence that media has on the city environment and its inhabitants.
Entwinement II is located at Dempster Street and the Skokie Valley Trail.
Virtuosity by Pat Mcdonald
Virtuosity by Oak Park sculpture Pat McDonald was installed on August 12, 2015 at the arrowhead park at Jarvis Avenue and Frontage Road. Virtuosity is made of painted steel and measures 16 feet by 8 feet by 8 feet.
For McDonald, the term "Virtuosity" is best demonstrated by an expert of gymnastic dance. The mastery of performance as well as the ambitious creativity witnessed when an inspired dancer performs is the moment of grace which McDonald's sculpture illustrates. "Virtuosity" is a large red and black painted steel fabrication. It continues a series of work which McDonald has been exploring for many years.
Virtuosity is located at Jaris Avenue and Frontage Road.
Bridge by Jennifer Dickson
Bridge by Chicago sculpture Jennifer Dickson was installed on June 21, 2014 at the intersection of Lincoln Avenue, Niles Center Road and Galitz Street. Bridge is made of bronze and measures 8 feet by 3 feet.
The sleek, elongated body can remind the viewer of a gymnast. The title, “Bridge”, brings to mind a more spiritual consideration. The use of a human form as a bridge serves to remind us of the immense potential that we all carry. The seeming lightness of this sculpture parallels its strength and potential.
Bridge is located at Lincoln Avenue at Niles Center Road and Galitz Street.
Leap of Faith by Terrence Karopwicz
Leap of Faith by Chicago sculpture Terrence Karpowicz was installed on May 9, 2014 at the arrowhead park at Lincoln Avenue and Madison Street. Leap of Faith is made of steel and polymer and measures 9 feet by 5 feet by 4 feet by 7 feet.
Leap of Faith is an exuberant, triumphant form caught in the midst of a brave action. The sculpture's "Leap of Faith" is viewed in progress and could be completed with either a graceful landing or a tumbling disaster.
Karpowicz is a popular public artist whose works have consistently popped up around Chicago throughout his 30-year plus career. Karpowicz's work is defined by tension at the point of contact, or joint, and he enjoys creating this tension. The bending creature in Leap of Faith is bursting with tension, creating an anxious, beautiful sculpture.
Leap of Faith is located at Lincoln Avenue and Madison Street.
Wanderlust by Boyan Marinov
Wanderlust was created by Chicago-based sculptor Boyan Marinov and installed on November 21, 2013 at the Skokie Valley Trail at Oakton Street. Wanderlust is 8 feet by 8 feet by 8 feet and made of painted steel.
"Wanderlust" exhibits a character similar to Marinov's own. The figure in the sculpture's center is an unencumbered traveler. At the center of the universe, the steel character glides effortlessly forward with admirable confidence and ease.
Marinov was born in Veliko Turnovo, Bulgaria and moved to the United States to pursue his passion in woodworking. He now owns his own furniture woodworking shop. Though he is a talented woodworker, Marinov's sculptures have been in the more element-resistant medium of metal.
Wanderlust is located at Skokie Valley Trail at Oakton Street.
Constant by Joey Manson
Constant was created by South Carolina sculptor Joey Manson and installed on Monday, August 9, 2013 at Gross Point Road and Wright Terrace. Constant is 14 feet by 7 feet by 4 feet and made of painted steel, bronze and concrete.
Manson works with industrial materials, often depicting the natural environment. His sculptures becomes an exploration of the built environment and systems ecology. Constant abstracts a moment in a natural cycle of a plant emerging from dormancy. The title of this sculpture refers to the renewal of this cycle and touches on our dependency on this constant.
Constant is located at Gross Point Road and Wright Terrace.