2,500 Hand-Painted Tiles Create One Strong Sense of Community in Chicago
The artist Joseph Beuys once said “Every man is an artist.” And if he could see the new BMO Harris Community Art Project, he’d know he was right.
As part of a city-wide collaborative effort, BMO Harris engaged a variety of community-based organizations focused on Chicago’s youth and families in a “Mural Mosaic” process, invented by artist Lewis Lavoie, which takes individual paintings and places them in a specific order by color palette to create one large painting.
Local “artists” from across the city ― everyone from school children to members of the Chicago Police and Fire Departments ― were given free rein to paint whatever they wanted.
And the result? 2,500 individually painted tiles ― everything from favorite pets to self-portraits. Even more amazing is that, when you look at the collective mural from a distance, the tiles depict the spirit of the city and highlights such as Buckingham Fountain and the Chicago Blackhawks and Bulls. Up closer, the tiles show another level of detail, like a jazz musician, Chicago skyscrapers and The Magnificent Mile.
The mural was on display at Chicago’s Pioneer Court through of the month of December, and BMO Harris donated $1 to the Greater Chicago Food Depository for every mural photo shared through Twitter and Instagram before Dec. 31.
BMO Harris is now working with its partners in the city to find a permanent outdoor home for this artistic celebration of the Chicago community.For more information and an interactive image of the BMO Harris Bank Community Art Project, visit muralmosaic.com.