The Rosemont Mural Initiative is a Village sponsored youth work program that employs aspiring artists and provides them mentorship from award-winning, Chicago based, muralist Rahmaan Statik. To date, 43 murals have been created by Statik and young people from the area, including students from Maine West High School, East Leyden High School, Oakton Community College, Columbia College and the American Academy of Art.
As part of its ongoing efforts to beautify public spaces, the Village of Rosemont has a collection of 43 murals that have been painted by internationally recognized, award-winning artist Rahmaan Statik alongside a group of mentored student artists participating in a Village-sponsored summer work program. The 40 new murals, all located within the Williams Street Garage (which serves the Donald E. Stephens Convention Center and Parkway Bank Park) whimsically depict some of the world’s greatest works of art integrated with some recognizable Rosemont landmarks, such as the Village’s iconic water tower, Allstate Arena and Fashion Outlets of Chicago.
“Public art, even in unexpected places like a parking garage, makes those spaces more inviting and pleasant,” said Rosemont Mayor Brad Stephens. “Youth work programs, including those that focus on the arts, are valuable tools in helping young people develop skills for the future. Rahmaan’s work with these young painters accomplishes both goals – making the Village a more beautiful place to live and visit, and providing training and mentorship to very talented aspiring artists.”
For the most recent works, Statik mentored student artists from Columbia College, the American Academy of Art and East Leyden High School in creating the murals, and also painted some himself. The concept for the series was created in collaboration with representatives of the Rosemont community. The new murals pay tribute to many of the greatest artists from Sandro Botticelli, Leonardo Da Vinci, George Seurat and Vincent Van Gogh to Roy Lichtenstein, M. C. Esher, Andy Warhol and even Chicago-based contemporary artist Hebru Brantley. In addition to the two massive murals near the Rosemont Recreation Center, the Williams Street Garage series includes 32 five-foot by 15-foot murals and eight 15-foot by 30-foot murals. Previous work was also performed by students attending Maine West High School and Oakton Community College.
“The students came up with designs that challenged their skills as artists while also linking Rosemont with some of history’s greatest works of art,” added Statik. “I am proud to have worked with them to develop these concepts. We are so happy to have transformed previously unremarkable spaces within a parking structure into a fun, vibrant and beautiful showcase of art.”
Rahmaan Statik grew up on the south side of Chicago, surrounded by urban art and public murals, where he became inspired to be involved with the subculture of urban graffiti. His mission is to legitimize the production of aerosol murals, and is the main focus of his work: public murals that fuse the graffiti aesthetic with classical training Statik received from the American Academy of Art. As co-founder of RK Design, a graphic arts and mural company, he has produced more than 300 murals, multiple CD covers, book illustrations and logo designs. Through the Village of Rosemont, the Chicago Public Art Group, as well as Gallery 37, he has instructed children in mural painting techniques, as well as mentored young artists in their craft. He currently works out of a studio in the Bridgeport Art Center in Chicago, where in addition to creating pieces in oil, acrylic, graphite, pen and ink, pastels, mosaic tile, spray paint and digital media, he is developing an instructional videos on large-scale aerosol pieces.