PaintWorks? What's that? The Lincoln Square Neighborhood Improvement Program (SSA #21) funds public murals and other art-related projects to improve the vibrancy and aesthetic appeal of our community. PaintWorks uses both local district tax dollars and crowdfunded donations to bring art to life in Lincoln Square.
How does the program work? Applications from host sites (i.e. property owners) that are interested in hosting an art-related project are accepted on a rolling basis. Once the host site is approved by the SSA Commissioners, a Request for Proposal (RFP) from artists will be made public. The Arts Committee will review all artist submissions and provide a recommended selection to the SSA Commission for approval. Once approved, the artist will be notified and, before long, the community will have another piece of public art to enjoy.
How To Get Involved
Want to host a mural on your property or business? Interested in applying to take part in PaintWorks as an artist? Or are you a community member that just wants to get involved? Learn how below.
For Property Owners
SSA 21 accepts applications to host a mural on a rolling basis.
- Murals must be within the SSA District
- Murals must face the public way
- Murals should remain in place for at least 3 years
- Maintenance funding is not guaranteed
- $500 participation fee (due at completion)
- Site owners are invited to weigh in on artist/design
Attn: Program Manager
2611 W Lawrence Ave, Ground Floor
Chicago, IL 60625
Request For Proposals (RFP) are sent to local artists after mural sites are selected. Selected artists are paid $5,000* (unless otherwise noted) for their work. Artists interested in receiving RFPs should enroll in our artist directory.
To view open requests for proposals, click here.
*Artist payment is all-inclusive (labor, supplies, travel, etc.). No exceptions.
For the Community
PaintWorks murals need help from the community - we can't do it alone! All donors giving over $500 get recognized with the mural itself.
PaintWorks is not soliciting donations at this time.
Why Public Art? Art along the public way encourages people to walk around the community, bringing them into local businesses and often creating destinations in their own right (see Hebru Brantley's mural on the Western CTA substation). Mural projects can often discourage blight, and can cover up decades of graffiti and decay. In addition, projects help create a sense of community, tying area residents together through shared art.
April 2021 Call for Artist. As the NEW Ainslie Arts Plaza begins to take shape, the Neighborhood Improvement Program seeks to find an artist that would be able to develop a logo / graphic to be utilized to brand the new space. The logo / graphic would be installed by the artist on the various wood elements in the plaza. Click here to view the Request for Proposal Application.
Artist: Franklin Riley
Mural Commissioned: 2017
Location: 2803 W Lawrence Avenue
Working with oils, Franklin Riley creates groups of stylized landscapes, cityscapes, figurative, and abstract pieces with strong brushwork, layered under-paintings, stencils, and simple compositions.The subtle understanding of direct and reflected light, and the way it alters color, temperature, and even the shape of objects, architecture, and environments... play an important role in much of his work.
Riley is currently the Director and working studio artist at Fulton Market Gallery, located in the Fulton Market/West Loop neighborhood of downtown Chicago.
Artist: Brandin Hurley
Mural Commissioned: 2017
Location: 2831 W Lawrence Avenue
Brandin Hurley is a Chicago based installation artist with a background in Scenic Design. Although her medium varies, her favorite element is light, and she enjoys experimenting with its flexibility and ethereal wonder in all contexts. Her work, often inspired by the seemingly eternal and awe-inspiring patterns in both nature and mythology, has culminated in installations of delicate glowing crystals, flocks of floating brass molecules, a room of luminous paper honeycomb, and looming papercut faces of mythological demons.
Recently, her work features intricate and ethereal worlds based around historical and mythological women, particularly those with strong connections to the natural world.
Artist: Jason Watts
Mural Commissioned: 2018
Location: 5011 N Lincoln Avenue
“We see symbols, logos and icons everyday as part of daily life, from advertising to bar and club signage to the brands that are steeped in local tradition. I think of my paintings as a mashup of the iconography, symbols and local references that are part of our past and present.” - Jason Watts
Artist: Christopher Hungerman
Mural Commissioned: 2018
Location: 4647 N Lincoln Avenue
CJ Hungerman is an American artist from Pittsburgh who has his studio in Chicago. He has created many public art projects in Chicago. His most notable piece of public art, funded by the Mayor’s Office and the City of Chicago, is a 500 square foot original artwork he conceived and created for the new Chinatown Library. He creates Visual Riot composed of patterned kinetic color chaos, with layers and shapes that explode into surrealistic landscapes of optic riddles.
"Parade of Abes"
Artist: Various from One River School of Art + Design
Project Commissioned: 2018
Since being replaced by pay-boxes, the City's coin-operated meters have been recommissioned as hitching posts for cyclists. To encourage cycling in the community, we wanted to make these meters pop! Artists from One River School of Art + Design transformed the meters into a "Parade of Abes" up and down Lincoln Avenue.
Artist: Rachel Lindsay-Snow
Installation Commissioned: 2019
Location: 4552 N Western Avenue
While grappling with laborious actions of ritual and repetition, much of Lindsay-Snow's recent work engages notions of mortality, cycle, and the temporal through the poetic gesture. Through installation, performance and sculpture; and the use of multiples, process, the surreal, and uncanny: Lindsay-Snow collaborates in moments of pause, re-centering, and questioning. They see the process of making art as a practice of asking questions, research, and wonder.
"All Shapes and Colors"
Artist: Andrea Jablonski
Installation Commissioned: 2020
Location: 4840 N Lincoln Avenue
Andrea Jablonski was commissioned to design the area's first street mural. Created with inspiration from flags, street signs and the Razzle Dazzle camouflage artists of WWII, Jablonski created a grid-like colorful design to encourage spaces for people to gather while still socially distancing during the COVID pandemic. Each geometric shape helps to delineate a space for seating elements that will be fluid to work with for future events planned in the plaza. The palette was decided by colors available through the specialty paint used for asphalt. The design exhibits diversity and community by bringing a variety of colors and shapes into a cohesive design. Public art, in this case, can be walked, skipped, danced on and enjoyed!