Wabash Arts Corridor – Chicago, Illinois - Atlas Obscura

Chicago, Illinois

Wabash Arts Corridor

An outdoor urban gallery of large-scale artworks by the world's most influential street artists. 

In Chicago’s South Loop is a collection of murals by some of the world’s most famous and influential street artists. The Wabash Arts Corridor was started in 2013 by Columbia College Chicago, a college specializing in art and media disciplines. The Wabash Arts Corridor was the school’s way of taking art from inside its buildings and creating an immersive art experience.

The WAC received a boost in 2014 when the school teamed up with Shepard Fairey as part of his “The Provocateurs” exhibition with Lollapalooza. During the exhibition, large murals by Fairey, Retna, Cleon Peterson, and POSE were created.

The Cleon Peterson mural has gone through much turmoil. Shortly after its completion, it was mostly covered by a group of local graffiti writers. If that wasn’t bad enough, the building next to it was torn down and replaced by high rise apartments, effectively burying the mural behind steel and brick. You can still see a small portion of the mural poking out onto Wabash.

Know Before You Go

The WAC is often referred to as "a living urban canvas" because new art is being added year after year. The art is also expanding beyond the immediate area. For an updated listing, a printable map, and an interactive map of the area, visit the WAC website. The south end of the WAC is located off the RedLine Roosevelt stop. The North end of the WAC is accessible via the Red Line Polk stop. Most art is viewable from the sidewalk. They are all over so wear comfortable shoes. If you have accessibility issues, the sidewalks in this area are relatively smooth with curb cuts to accommodate wheelchairs.

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