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Shedd Aquarium Commissions Edgewater Mural To Help Launch Groundbreaking Exhibit

The artwork by Perez.

The Shedd Aquarium has commissioned a new mural to be painted in the Edgewater neighborhood to help launch a groundbreaking new exhibit that will focus on colors, patterns and rhythms that are formed and thrive underwater.

The exhibit, Underwater Beauty, is a bit of a departure for the aquarium and will be organized quite differently from what people would expect. In the past the Shedd has focused on specific species such as seahorses or jellies, but this time around they will showcase the most diverse collection of underwater creatures to date.

The show will be organized more aesthetically with rooms that focus on adaptation such as shimmer, color, pattern and rhythm. Producing a more natural art-type exhibit, the Shedd is promising to give people a whole new concept from them.

Because of the truly special program they will be presenting to the public, they wanted to find unique ways to help promote the show as well. So as they looked at ways to reach area communities, they decided that artwork would help communicate the exhibit best. So they turned to an agency to help locate local artists that have worked on murals in the past and have had experience in painting all types of creatures on both sea and land.

“Art seemed to be a natural tie-in,” said Johnny Ford who is the Manager of Communications and Public Relations at the Shedd Aquarium. “We thought, what a better way to express underwater beauty than to allow some local artists to get inspiration from the exhibit and interpret it in their own way across Chicago.”

To date, four communities have been chosen including Edgewater, Logan Square, Bronzeville and Forest Park. One other neighborhood will also be selected in the near future. Cesar Perez; an artist who developed his style from comic books, representation, and graffiti, has been selected to paint the mural in Edgewater. His vibrant, colorful artwork depicts jellyfish that can be found in the rythem room and coral that can be found in the color room at the Shedd exhibit.

The mural will start to take shape Wednesday on a wall overlooking Broadway Avenue next to patio Beef at 6022 N. Broadway near the library. Two other murals have already been painted in Logan Square and Forest Park and took approximately a week to produce. The pieces are expected to be up through the summer with the hosts able to choose to keep them up long after.

“This project is focused on starting a conversation about aquatic life and aquatic beauty – and not just in the traditional sense,” said Ford. “We are hoping people see these and are inspired by the incredible creatures in the artwork. Edgewater has a diverse community of Chicagoans that I think would appreciate a mural like this.”

For more info on the exhibit, click here.


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