The good works of ArtReach/Firehouse are right here for us.

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Early last spring C4C, and community members worked to bring to the attention of our elected officials the disrepair, and poor routine maintenance of our aging viaducts just north of 16th street which connect the University Village community to East Pilsen. Dark, ugly, filthy, and dangerous are words that have described the conditions of these gateways between two communities. Since the 2015 mayoral and aldermanic election more attention has been paid to the viaducts. The 11th Ward includes parts of University Village, and East Pilsen, and Alderman Patrick Thompson has been working to improve the conditions of the viaducts. The one at Peoria St. is scheduled for a major overhaul with new roads, and sidewalks.

The Morgan St. viaduct just received its first mural. ArtReach/Firehouse and Chicago high school students from After School Matters worked on the northwest entrance to the viaduct most of the summer to install a wonderful mosaic mural. The students worked as a group to come up with the design, made their own tiles,  glazed them, put together huge mosaic heads, cut and grouted large amounts of glass shards, painted and put a wonderful message as the final touch.

This month a group of us came together with some of the students to celebrate the completion of this beautiful enhancement to our community. We toasted its completion with hot chocolate and churros courtesy of the University Commons Neighborhood Association.  Alderman Thompson along with some residents were thrilled to recognize the student artists, their teachers along with the ArtReach/Firehouse team. We are hopeful that the rest of the entrances will be able to benefit from the students’ work in the near future.

ArtReach/Firehouse is right here in our very own backyard.

Check out this video about the glass work at the Firehouse.

There’s a nice upcoming holiday bazaar for you to stop by to do some holiday shopping to help support this organization which does so much good in our community. This organization is staffed by artists who could really use our help to support their community work.

Additionally, here is wish list of supplies that would be greatly appreciated; there’s a variety of materials from inexpensive to more costly that will help ArtReach with their mission.

When you have a moment please come over to Morgan, just south of 15th Street. The area boasts the 80 foot long Mural on Morgan on the west side, which give a historical narrative of the area and now this new mosaic mural. There is a lot to see with much more to come.