Montague Mural: The “swings” mural commissioned by the shopping center was created by Kelsey Montague, an artist whose fame lies at the intersection of public art, interactive art and social media. Applauded by notable institutions and publications including the Smithsonian American Art Museum, The New York Times and Forbes, Montague has made a name for herself with large pen-and-ink murals loaded with smaller images and stories that entice people to talk about each piece’s meaning, interact with the art, and post pictures of their interaction on social media as Taylor Swift did with Montague’s now infamous Angel Wings mural.
At Fox Valley Mall, Montague expanded her “swings” portfolio with a design created especially for the residents of Aurora and Naperville, Illinois, a piece that is as whimsical and freewheeling as it is complex and considered. Watch the video.
Art at Hawthorn:
Laban Mural: This 1,050-foot mural will serve as the backdrop for a number of this year’s community-focused events. Part of his renowned “Uplift series,” the mural was created by Myron Laban, a native of Des Plaines, Illinois, a Chicago-area pharmacist and an emerging Chicago painter named “best new visual artist” by Chicago Reader in 2017.
Laban’s “Uplift” series represents the ability to keep moving forward during struggle while always maintaining hope. The piece artistically depicts the strength, resilience and care for one another demonstrated by the families who regularly visit Hawthorn Mall. Watch the video.
Lewellen Mural: A lengthy 4,224 feet along the shopping center’s former Sears building will be turned into an immense canvas for an inspiring large-scale mural, the first of two to come in this location. This first mural will employ vibrant colors and an impactful artistic message offering a natural attraction that is both interesting to passers-by and an iconic landmark for the community.
Anthony Lewellen, the mural’s creator, is a Chicago-based multidisciplinary artist. He was an innovative figure in Chicago’s graffiti culture in his formative years and made a name for himself in the Midwest and beyond with ground-breaking street work featuring a simple, bold palette and emotionally complex characters depicting his own direct observations about life in the city.
Lewellen’s art is quintessentially Chicago, and the images he creates tell an unspoken story about this urban landscape.
Keep an eye on Centennial social media channels for updates on these projects.