What is Chicago Street Art

While we were visiting different places around Chicago, Flat Stanlina noticed that some buildings and street signs had interesting and colorful designs placed on them, either with paint or stickers. Some were like giant paintings or murals. Some looked like real life and others were like cartoons. She asked me what these are.

We went to see an exhibit about Street Art, “Paint Paste Sticker” at the Chicago Cultural Center. Street Art is a form of visual art made where people in public can see it – on buildings, sidewalks, signs and other public areas.

The artists are not usually trained in art schools. People make street art for different reasons: to make people laugh, to spread a message, to be seen or heard, to make others think, among others.

Sometimes the artists have permission to create their art on spaces owned by other people. The exhibit showed some examples of public art projects that the local government, street artists, homeowners and business owners worked on together. 

One of these art projects was in my own neighborhood in Logan Square.

At other times the artists do not have permission to create art on spaces owned by other people. In many places, street art is against the law. Some people view Street Art as vandalism and it is expensive and annoying to wash off or clean.

Examples of painted over street art, Chicago Cultural Center

For many reasons, street art is often temporary, meaning it is on display for a short period of time.

Street art can take many different forms: stickers, spray paint, stencils, sculpture, video or a combination of any of these. At the exhibit we saw the work of many different Chicago street artists.

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