Wabash Arts Corridor | Big Walls 2016
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wac-big-wallsColumbia College Chicago and WAC proudly announced a new initiative that transformed Chicago’s South Loop neighborhood into a bustling hub for public art.

From May 1-13th, WAC Big Walls partnered with local galleries and sponsors to bring twenty local and internationally renowned street artists to the corridor to create large-scale mural installations.

During the two weeks, Big Walls held a celebration of street art, showcasing the diversity of artistic styles emerging in this vibrant art form. There were guided tours and audiences experienced the creative process live as street artists revamped and reimagined the walls of Chicago’s Wabash Arts Corridor neighborhood.

Download The Chronicle Chronicle‘s Big Walls Issue to learn more about the event and see a map of the murals.

WAC Big Walls

Local, national and international artists installed large-scale murals along the corridor.

Docent-led tours of the WAC were hosted between May 1st – 13th.

Tours kicked – off from 623 S. Wabash, 1st Floor Lobby

Tuesday, May 3

12pm and 6pm

Thursday, May 5

12pm and 4pm

Saturday, May 7


Tuesday, May 10


Our 12pm tour on Tuesday, May 10th was canceled due to weather. 


Our 6pm tour on Tuesday, May 10th was canceled due to weather. 

Friday, May 13

11am, 3pm and 6pm

Participating artists include:

Participating artists include:

  • Collin van der Sluijs (Netherlands) – 1006 S. Michigan – COMPLETED!
  • Amuse 126 (Chicago) – 777 S. State – COMPLETED!
  • Justus Roe (Chicago) – 1001 S. State – COMPLETED!
  • Renee Robbins (Chicago) – 1130 S. Michigan – beginning to install on Saturday, May 14th!
  • Don’t Fret (Chicago) – 1152 S. Wabash – COMPLETED!
  • Marina Zumi (Argentina) – 910 S. Michigan – COMPLETED!
  • Zor Zor Zor (Chicago) – 600 S. Michigan – COMPLETED!
  • Czr Prz (Chicago) – 1415 S. Wabash – COMPLETED!
  • DMNology (Chicago) – 618 S. Wabash – installing through Friday, May 27th!
  • Eduardo Kobra (Brazil) – 17 N. State St – COMPLETED!
  • Sarah Stewart (Chicago) – 525 S. Wabash – COMPLETED!
  • Lady Lucx (Chicago) – 525 S. Wabash – COMPLETED!
  • Ricky Lee Gordon (South Africa) – 634 S. Wabash – COMPLETED!
  • Ruben Aguirre (Chicago) – 501/525 S. Wabash –  COMPLETED!
  • Tararchy (Chicago) – 72 E. 11th – COMPLETED!

Locations and installation schedule will be updated daily. Tour and install schedule subject to change.  

Big Walls in a Big City Confab Reception

Thursday, May 5th, 6-10pm at 1104 S. Wabash, Conaway Center (1st Floor)

Columbia College Chicago and Wabash Arts Corridor held a street style panel discussion and reception for their first ever WAC Big Walls Festival. The free event was entitled, “Big Walls in a Big City: Imagining the Future of Public and Street Art to Shape our Urban Landscape” and was open to the public.

Bad at Sports Podcast Producer, Duncan MacKenzie, along with Neysa Page-Lieberman, Curator at Columbia College Chicago, moderated the discussion. Guest panelists included: Chicago artist Ruben Aguirre, Dutch artist Collin van der Sluijs, artist and writer Philip Hartigan, Columbia professor Sabina Ott, arts management student Anisa Peraica, and Chicago-based artist Amanda Williams.

The panel discussion was fun and fast-paced with a focus on the future of street art and how it is transforming Chicago’s urban landscape. This won’t be your typical panel forum! A student performer will be keeping the pace for the panel forum with the use of a ceremonial gong!

Music and entertainment was provided by Columbia College alumnus DJ Jill Strange!!

WAC Big Walls at Manifest

The Wabash Arts Corridor hosted several new installations along the corridor during Columbia’s Manifest Urban Arts Festival on Friday, May 13th, 2016.


Papermaker’s Garden Programming

754 S. Wabash Ave

Live Street Art by Bunny XLV, Anthony Lewellen, Stef Skills, and Rahmaan Statik (1-8pm)
The Elephant Room Gallery hosted four renowned artists who worked on new, original pieces in the Papermaker’s Garden. Viewers experienced the live paint process!

Dress The Fences Installation (1-8pm)
This site-specific installation showcases the work of Columbia’s fashion design students who will dress the fences and structures of the garden with various fabrics.

Freebird by Team Agora (1-8pm)
Knitted birds and nests of all sizes and kinds adorned the planters of the Papermaker’s Garden in this yarn bombing exhibition. Curated by Columbia alum and staff member, Kari Sommers.

Music Garage DJ set (1-3pm)

AMNMA Sonic Bubble Wrap Walk (3-4pm)
AMNMA was a site-specific performative interaction that involved elements of psycholinguistics and ritual.  The work played out on a stage made of bubble wrap woven into a massive robe, which was encountered by the audience in a group action.  The names of audience members were heard as an abstract poem chanted by a digitally-controlled choir through multi-channel speakers. Created by Banrei, the artist name of Jake Harper, a composer and media artist.

Big Walls Artist Dedication (4-4:30pm)
Chair of the Wabash Arts Corridor, Mark Kelly, and various artists who were participating in Big Walls appeared for a dedication welcoming them and celebrating their impressive contributions to the WAC.

Music Garage DJ Set (4:30-8pm)

Site-Specific Installations & Other Events

Various locations in the WAC

Artist and Craftsman Supply Chicago (12-5pm)
828 S. Wabash

Guests stopped by the Artists and Craftsman store for free caricature drawings, raffles, goodies and got a 15% discount off their purchase by  mentioning they were a Manifest or Big Walls attendee!

Portrait Project (1-8pm)
Various storefront locations along Wabash Avenue

Columbia College Illustration students showcased original portraits, profiling people who live, work, study, and visit the Wabash Arts Corridor.

Flying Creatures (1-8pm)
Sculpture Garden, 11th and Wabash

Participants saw the unveiling of the first Flying Creatures prototype! Flying Creatures is a series of kinetic street sculptures that will live in sculptural trees, created by artist George Berlin, along Wabash Avenue. Participants visited fantastical flying creatures created by Harold Washington Library’s YOUmedia students in partnership with Columbia alumnus, Erin Cramer, and then made and took a creature of their own!

Big Balls by Team Agora (1-8pm)
Various locations along Wabash Avenue

Giant white golf balls and tees adorned the planters of Wabash in this yarn bombing exhibition. Curated by Columbia alum and staff member, Kari Sommers.

onSITE 2016 (8:30pm)
900 – 916 S. Wabash

onSITE 2016 was a large scale architectural projection event that showcased video art, experimental film and projection mapping. The program explored the potential of media interventions to shape our perception of the built environment and highlighted the social context of architecture. This year’s screening included work produced by Columbia College undergraduate, graduate and faculty and featured a selection of curated video art from the curators of Video Guerhilla in Brazil.

Interactive Projection Sculpture (7-10pm)
820 S. Michigan, Loading Dock

Artist George Berlin’s interactive projection sculpture lit up 3 huge hearts and over 150 cubes with fun pixel-art faces, candy-colored animation, and whimsical cartoony images of memories from growing up in Chicago.

Wanderer Opening Reception (6-9pm)
Elephant Room Gallery, 704 S. Wabash

Focused on her personal take of moments of feeling free and at peace, WAC Big Walls artist Zor Zor Zor transformed the intimate space of Elephant Room Gallery into a vision seen in the back of her mind. Creating a light and airy dreamscape, yet with an unknown universal heaviness at the core, she explored the space, centering it between fantasy and reality. The exhibition was honed in and around a sculpted character, who adventurously roamed the streets with wonder, awe and curiosity, and transitioned into new stages in life, whether prepared or not but freely flowing and blissfully accepting all that surrounded it.

Chicago Loop Alliance ACTIVATE Event (5-10pm)
205 e. 8th Street. The alley running North/South between 8th and 9th street.

ACTIVATE transforms iconic Loop alleys into pop-up urban experiences. Combining the talents of Chicago’s most creative minds, the events feature art, music, and more in unique urban settings.


Auditorium Theatre
Capstone Collegiate Communities
Hilton Chicago
Loop Pro Writing Tools
Music Garage
Solemn Oath Brewery
Sunbelt Rentals

Fogelson Family Foundation

Gallery Partners


1152 S Wabash, Roosevelt Hotel • 1001 S State, Golub & Company • 1130 S Michigan, DK Living • 777 S State, Group Fox • 1006 S Michigan, JK Equities • 634 S Wabash, Warehouse Liquors • 1 E Balbo, South Loop Club • 525 S Wabash, Park One • 501 S Wabash, Roosevelt University • 910 S Michigan • 888 S Michigan