Three Chicago Artists Who Are Shaking Things Up
As a Chicago based crew, we have a lot of love for our hometown and one of the things we get especially excited about is the ever-evolving art scene. Known for its unconventional streak, it draws both visitors and artists from all over the country and the world.
From fine art to street art, it’s constantly blossoming and evolving with both galleries and murals popping up in art districts like Pilsen and favorite neighborhoods such as Wicker Park/Bucktown. While the list of talent is too long to share, we wanted to highlight some of the people we think are really kicking up Chicago’s appeal and adding to the city’s renowned beauty.
Here are the the Chicago artists to get on your radar!
JANSON RAPISARDA (CERA)
Janson Rapisarda, who creates street art under the name CERA, recently returned to Chicago after spending some time in Philadelphia. He worked on a number of projects with Muros, including the Murals for Medical Relief (MFMR) campaign, which featured Chicago artists beautifying the community and paying tribute to healthcare heroes fighting the COVID-19 pandemic. Janson described his “SPEEDRACER” mural as depicting the medical worker as “a hero, but also as a human,” expressing motion and energy on the way to work.
Janson enjoys the opportunity to create art at scale, and as he showed on the MFMR project, he gets inspired by a great cause. He has a collage-like approach to painting, and his style is a fusion of abstract and figurative art. There’s often a floating element that suggests a lack of gravity, and this infuses his work with a sense of wonder.
Kate Lewis is what we would call a Muros veteran; she has worked on many projects with us. She’s one of the most passionate and positive Chicago artists we know. Also part of the MFMR campaign, Kate said her mural, “Everyday Angels,” represents “these people, these angels, as vulnerable as the rest of us, suiting up to start another day.” Kate has recently completed a commission from the Chicago Department of Cultural Affairs and Special Events (DCASE) to create a massive mural along the Chicago Riverwalk.
Kate’s art constantly progresses, and women’s empowerment is often a theme. Her illustrative, elegant style has evolved from a more geometric and abstract form. The MFMR project gave her an opportunity to go big in that style for the first time. The Riverwalk mural is also massive at about 3,600 square feet and was painted with all female crew of artists. It celebrates the 100-year anniversary of Art Deco, and Kate hopes it inspires others to create art.
Langston Allston is an emerging Chicago artist we haven’t worked with yet, but we can’t wait until the time comes. Langston relocated to Chicago from New Orleans and recently completed a print release collaboration with three Chicago sports teams (Blackhawks, Bulls and Bears) to raise funds for local nonprofit My Block, My Hood, My City. Langston has described his art as a way to “tell stories, drawn from my own experience, and from the experiences of people in my community.”
Langston has a passion for creating public art for the communities that need it most, and the experience of Black Americans and social justice are persistent themes in his work. His style features powerful imagery, abstract depictions and bright colors. Langston just completed a mural project at the corner of East Park and North 1st Street in midtown Champaign.
WRAPPING IT UP
At Muros, we understand art’s power to inspire and create conversations, and that’s why we’re keeping our eye on these three Chicago artists who are shaking things up. We’re passionate about connecting brands with local artists to create impactful spaces, experiences and mural campaigns. So, if you’re thinking about how mural art can help you stand out and be noticed, get in touch.
Tricia Binder, Co-Founder Muros