Art-inspired project has LaSalle Street Corridor glowing

LaSalle Aglow
A LaSalle Aglow mural adorning 231 S. LaSalle St. Artist Brionna Sorret said the piece "represents the beauty of Chicago’s diversity and it’s huge creative contribution to world culture." Photo credit Brandon Ison

CHICAGO (WBBM NEWSRADIO) — When the City of Chicago announced the LaSalle Street Re-imagined initiative in an effort to create a more mixed-use, neighborhood-oriented LaSalle corridor, the Chicago Loop Alliance headed over to see what there was to work with.

“We did an inventory of the street. We had 12 buildings, 15 storefronts [and] 35 vacant windows on LaSalle Street,” Chicago Loop Alliance CEO Michael Edwards said.

Not long after, the LaSalle Aglow project was born. The Loop Alliance has grabbed up eight local artists so far, each of whom will contribute their artistic skills to make the storefronts more attractive, for passersby and potential tenants.

LaSalle Aglow
The storefront of 2 N. LaSalle St. This is one of multiple murals created by visual artists Dwight White ll, Eldridge Hampton, Reco the Great and installation artist Jai Bradford. Photo credit Brandon Ison

“There’s a great arts community, so this is bringing together two things: a need and expertise from our great artist community,” Edwards said.

Right now, LaSalle Aglow art covers 16 of the windows and will last through March, if not longer. Edwards said the purpose is to attract tenants to those storefronts — a benefit to the neighborhood and the building owners.

LaSalle Aglow
Artists Mario Mena, Cookie Kwan and Natalia Virafuentes created a series inspired by iconic Chicago architecture to fill the windows at the Rookery building at 209 S. LaSalle St. Photo credit Brandon Ison

Funding in the form of a $100,000 grant from Chicago Business Affairs and Consumer Protection.

“The only requirement we had of the property owners was that they agreed to continue to pay the electric for us to have light bulbs in and around the space, so that they glow into the evening,” he said.

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Featured Image Photo Credit: Brandon Ison