This Fall has brought some cosmetic improvements along Clark Street.
The Rogers Park Business Alliance recently announced several project updates from its Vision Clark Street Master Plan, including the completion of a new mural at Clark Street and Greenleaf Avenue, new street banners to be installed in October, and streetscape improvements initially recommended in the plan and managed by the Chicago Department of Transportation.
The new mural, titled “Color Through Chaos” and located outside Honeybear Cafe (7036 N. Clark Street), was created by Chicago artists C.J. Williams and Kristianna Jacques.
The project also includes new street banners, and streetscape improvements.
“Clark Street is a critical artery running through the center of our community, home to many entrepreneurs and small businesses who bring energy and talent to Rogers Park,” RPBA Executive Director Sandi Price said in a statement. “Our Vision Clark Street plan supports development and enhances public spaces. We’re excited to continue these placemaking efforts with an inspiring new mural, street banners to celebrate the vibrancy of the Clark Street corridor, and new streetscape improvements in partnership with the Chicago Department of Transportation.”
The mural artists said the work is meant to reflect the current times.
“The mural speaks to the current state we are living in, in regard to racial injustice and the world’s uncertainty around COVID-19,” they said in a statement. “We wanted to do a piece that portrayed working together through this difficult time to create something beautiful and uplifting. We wanted to give the people of Rogers Park and Chicago something to gaze upon in hopes of bringing more peace, positivity and inspiration. Color Through Chaos serves as a reminder to not give up hope, and that there is an amazing amount of resiliency within community.”
The street improvements include three projects, managed by the Chicago Department of Transportation. They include:
- Clark Street and Devon Avenue area: New sidewalks, upgraded LED lighting, reduced pedestrian crossing distances where possible, raised median with plantings on Clark Street, reconfigured intersection and pedestrian walkways surrounding the CTA bus terminal at Clark and Arthur, and new landscaping and pedestrian infrastructure along Arthur from Clark to Ashland.
- Clark Street and Chase Avenue area: decorative Vision Clark Street branding on the pavement at the intersection, new pedestrian signage and crosswalks to improve safety, and bump-outs along each corner of the intersection.
- Clark Street and Farwell Avenue area: Bump-outs have been approved for each corner of the intersection.
Williams, one of the mural artists, is a Chicago born educator, professional breakdancer, and artist, who has been performing, competing, and teaching for nearly two decades.
Jacques, the other artist, is a painter, muralist, jewelry designer, and mixed media artist based in Rogers Park. She draws on her experience as a social worker and sexuality educator to create vibrant and detail-rich work that celebrates all bodies and the diversity of human experience.