Cool Chicago-Area Street Art


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Mural by Eduardo Kobra located in Wicker Park. Photo by Maddie Rose

By Maddie Rose and Cristina McGraw

Marty Rose, an amateur artist in Chicago, explained what it takes to create a mural. Since he has been doing art his whole life, he can easily walk through the process.

“First I sketch a couple of designs for the client to choose from and then visualize it against the walls,” he said. “The only time I sketch it on the wall ahead of time is when it involved lettering so that it is spaced perfectly. The actual designs or illustrations are freehand.”

Many times artists get reached out to by local businesses to make certain pieces for them. But sometimes muralists tend to create seek out their own places and use their own designs. 

As someone who is asked to do murals for businesses and clients, Rose was asked what work he has done in the past. Claiming that he has done many projects for people for their homes that know him for his art.

Many of the works that he has done range from fantasy subjects for children’s rooms to the beautiful views that are the Tuscany scenery. Even some paintings as detailed as painting an entire tree spanning across a laundry room wall up to the ceiling with birds flying across the branches.  

“It’s all up to the client’s desire and taste,” he said. “It can be something very simple or something very specific with lots of details.” 

Artist like Rose are just an example of one of the many amazing street artists that emcompasses Chicago and its surrounding. Chicago and its surrounding has many beautiful murals and cool street artwork that is worth visiting. 

Street art pieces are essentially created by artists in a public setting for everyone to see and engage with. The artist is usually trying to make a statement through their public work. 

The next part of the report will include a list of five cool street artwork, a description of the artist, their intention and overall information about each piece. 

StoryMap: Check out the location of the five murals. 

1.Butterfly Breaking Through Clothes by Ester Melina Scotte                                         

Western Suburbs, 1111 North Blvd, Oak Park IL

The first piece is created by artist Ester Melina Scotte. She was born and raised in Argentina and began her artistic journey at the young age of 12. She acquired a lot of her artistic technique through combination of art school as well as her own personal development. She enjoys experimenting with various techniques and styles. 

She said she “expresses her own world, vision, and personal emotions throughout different stages of her life through her paintings which are influenced by her own personal travels which allowed her to also travel through her art as well” (Melina, 2019).

The mural is called Butterflies Breaking Through the Clothes, located in Oak Park. When asked about the process of creating a mural, she explained that the first step is to propose the specific art piece to the city, then showcase her idea or outline for approval prior. Once they approve the concept, she then begins outlining or creating the actual piece.

For this piece, she used a projector to sketch the shape to the murals, she added a combination of acrylic paints, finishing with graffiti varnish. The mural took about three days to complete with a total of 16 hours. When asked about some of the challenges of creating this type of artwork, she replied that the weather is a huge factor, especially in the Midwest.

When asked about the connotation of the painting Scotte said “that it is about what we transmit and what we release to others through our energy in the shape of butterflies, that come from the inside and surround the women.” 

She dedicated the mural to every person who enjoys viewing art, and called it her “small contribution to motivate others to leave more art on walls” (Scotte, 2019).

2. Flyboy by Hebru Brantley

West Town, 1400 W Randolph St, Chicago, IL 

The second art piece is a mural by artist Hebru Brantley a Bronzeville native. The artist states that his artwork draws influence from pop culture, comic book heroes, as well as Japanese anime and bold aesthetics. He earned his B.A in film from Clark Atlanta University, with a background in design and media illustration. In his bio he describes that he uses the family of murals and graffiti work as a frame to explore his inquiries.

Brantley applies a “plethora of mediums from oil, acrylic, watercolor and spray paint to non-traditional mediums such as coffee and tea, as well as challenging the traditional view of the hero or protagonist” 

The specific mural picked is located in West Town, Chicago. Which depicts his iconic character of the FlyBoy. He currently has a cool exhibition in Pilsen, Chicago called the Flyboy Universe in NevermorePark.

3. Bear Champ by JC Rivera 

Fulton Market, 108 N. Green Street, Chicago IL 

The third piece is by Puerto Rican native and Chicago Resident, JC Rivera. Rivera describes that he’s been illustrating, painting and doing anything related to art for the past nine years. His most popular trademark is the iconic Bear Champ, a yellow bear with boxing gloves seen in many of the Chicago neighborhoods. The specific mural is located at the West Loop Neighborhood, and depicts the Bear Champ holding a large slice of pizza. 

When interviewed Ricardo Berrios a Chicago resident and art enthusiast shared his perspective on the Bear Champ stating that “The Bear Champ is a Chicago Iconic symbol, if you haven’t seen a Bear Champ around then you haven’t seen all of Chicago” (Berrios, 2019).

College student and Chicago resident Kerenina Rosario shared her opinion of the artist, staring that “ JC Rivera’s Bear Champ is becoming a Chicago symbol, kinda like the Bean but in a more underground way.” She explained that as a fellow Puerto Rican she feels proud to see their Boricua representation through his artwork.

Adobe Spark Video: Check out video to see some of the cool artwork mentioned.

4. Vivian Maier Self-Portrait by Eduardo Kobra

Wicker Park at 1651 W. North Avenue. 

The fourth mural is done by Eduardo Kobra who is a Brazillian street artist.  This mural is dedicated to one of Chicago’s most famous photographers, Vivian Maier. It is located on the wall of a house in Wicker Park at 1651 W. North Avenue.

Eduardo Kobra is known for his use of bright colors and bold lines that give his murals a kaleidoscope feeling to them. The technique he uses consists of repeating squares and triangles to give the image he is painting that realistic touch. 

Kobra made this piece when he got permission from the owners of the house to paint the mural. He was not paid to do this mural, instead he volunteered his time and used his own money to create this work to pay tribute to Vivian Maier. 

Maier, is considered one of the greatest photographers of all time. Before her death in 2009, Maier resided in Rogers Park. She captured countless images of life in Chicago and the people that lived there. 

The mural by Kobra is one of her self portraits that she took, where she is seen holding up her camera. 

Eduardo Kobra brought to life one of Chicago’s most famous icons. Getting to drive past this mural that not only celebrates Vivian, but also the hard work done by Eduardo himself is a real treat. 

5. Greetings From Chicago, by Victor Ving

Logan Square, 2226 N Milwaukee Ave, Chicago

The fifth mural is called Greetings From Chicago located in Logan Square. Painted back in 2015, it has been one of Chicago’s favorite tourist attractions. The mural captures the highlights of life in Chicago.

Muralist Victor Ving and photographer Lisa Beggs started a journey of traveling to different cities and creating what is called the Greetings Tour. As a group project the two have been using the classic large letter postcards and turning them into art.

Capturing the essence of each city they travel to, they create these murals inspired by the old large letter postcards back in the early 1990s.

The two have made 41 murals in 20 different states during the past 4 years of their journey of creating landmarks. Eventually they intend to make one in all 50 states. 

The mural in Chicago includes a very colorful and fun image to depict some of Chicago’s most iconic symbols. It features some of Chicago’s best within each letter including Chicago hot dogs, White Sox, Ferris Bueller, and many more.

Right off the California stop on the Blue Line, one can see the mural and its friendly greeting to the public. It has become quite a popular stop to take pictures for all forms of social media. The painting can be found right against a plumbing building on the intersection of Milwaukee Ave. and Prindiville Street. 

Check out this 360 Image of the Chicago Greeting Mural.


Doing this type of work is very different from a typical canvas and paint supplies, Rose said. Murals are done on different surfaces and cause from many challenges when making it. Some of the biggest challenges is to include all the details to make the painting perfect. 

Making sure that the art the artist is doing what they visioned may be one of the biggest challenges especially with the obstacle of time. When doing a piece for a business it may cause lots of dedicated time in order to get the piece done promptly. 

When asked Rose about what a he typical spends on one of his murals he replied that

“Very hard to answer,” he said. “Every job is different. It all depends on the amount of detail a project needs. The more detail, the more time needed. I’ve completed most inside of an eight-hour day, but ave frequently required a few days to complete a single project.”

He describes that creating a mural is a strategic process from many artists. Having the privilege to explore ideas of what you can create and portray your art in a city like Chicago is a dream for many artists. It can take years to become an established artist within such a place like the city. Being able to know what goes into creating murals like the ones scattered around the various neighborhoods in Chicago can give insight into the world of making murals. 


If you want to know how you can be apart of making art like Rose and the other muralists in Chicago visit the: Chicago Artist Coalition


10 Haunted Houses near Chicago

With the Halloween season coming up, what better to spend it than being scared endlessly in a haunted house. For people who are eager scary-hungry fans, Illinois has got you covered. The Chicago-land is packed with thrilling attractions set to scare everyone who tries to go through it.

These 10 haunted houses are all near the Chicago-land area. Mainly located within in the suburbs, you will be sure to find a scary place to get fully in the spirit of Halloween.

Here are the some of the haunted houses you can visit this October.


Google Trends: Climate Change Dominates Gun Control, Marijuana’s Popularity Over Vaping

Climate Change Dominates Gun Control

Climate Change is a heavy topic circulating through the media over the last couple years.   Issues concerning shrinking ice sheets, warming oceans, and global temperature rise are trending areas that make for a constant presence in the news. Gun Control is another subject matter that is a frequent trend within the media, especially when tragedies such as mass shootings occur.

Climate change vs gun control


According to an analysis on Google Trends data search, climate change has managed to maintain a steady dominance over gun control over the past year.  This can be due to the news features about climate crisis’s such as the extremely low temperatures from the polar vortex in February when the Midwest was hit with it lowest temperature it had in years.

Along with stories in regards to the major forest fire in California back in July. Concerned citizens were eager to find out the conditions California was in. Also finding reasons to why such a tragedy had occurred and learn more about the climate crisis.

There were some cases where gun control had a higher trend over climate change. For instance gun control ranked higher on the trends on November 4th, 2018.  On that day, a new release came out about the victims from a yoga studio shooting in Florida. Gun control tends to trend more when issues in regards to mass shooting are covered within the media.

Marijuana’s Popularity Over Vaping

As Marijuana slowly becomes legalized within several states, it has shown a consistent trend over the past year, according to an analysis of Google Trends data search. The graphic shows that Marijuana was a constantly dominating trend vaping for the majority of the past year.

Vaping vs Pot

Illinois was the 11th state to legalize marijuana on June 25th 2019. It had a higher trend over vaping and shows a higher interest for that date. Since then more states are starting to legalize marijuana, and the U.S is expected to have 20 states legalize pot by 2024.  These kind of stories can make marijuana trend since it has become such a constant topic within the media.

But, vaping recently has had a major peak over marijuana breaking its consistent dominance over it. Stories have been released about the vaping-related illnesses that people have gotten from these products. Along with issues on allegations of these E-cigarette companies intentionally trying to sell to underage users. These kinds of stories have been trending heavily recently causing a vaping crisis.

Despite the Low Unemployment Rates Illinois Residents Struggle to Find Jobs


By Laura Skindaraite, Veronica Stanoulov and Madelyn Rose

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“Smilga Restaurant” workers are getting ready for the birthday party.
Photo by Laura Skindaraite


Despite the declining unemployment rate in Illinois, people are still struggling to find a job, according to an analysis of employment data.

Unemployment in Illinois has been steadily declining over the past eight years according to data from the Bureau of Labor Statistics. From 2015 to 2016, the employment rate grew .53 percent according to the Data USA: Illinois.


Unemployment Rate in Illinois

According to the Google Public Data Explore, in March 2010, the unemployment rate in Illinois was 11.1 percent and this year June it dropped to 4.3 percent. Comparing it with the overall unemployment rate in the United States, in February 2010 it was 10 percent and this year June it was 4.0 percent.

Martin Rose was working as a director and educator in respiratory at Community Nursing Rehab in Naperville. He, along with many others, struggled with unemployment as a company failed to bring in income. In June of 2018, 13 employees were left jobless.

“They were laying people off because they closed the unit and sold the building because the current owner was not earning enough profits from the facility I worked at,” Rose said.

According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, in 2010, the unemployment rate reached the highest point of the decade-9.8 percent. In August 2018, it dropped to 3.9 percent which was the lowest unemployment rate of the decade.

FInal Project ScreengrabU.S Unemployment Rates

While the unemployment rate as a whole has been decreasing for the United States, people in smaller towns are still struggling to find a job.

“Unemployment really will never go away and every American should be prepared for it,” Rose said. ”Because it goes in cycles and the 2007-09 recession was so effective everybody has to be aware of it.”

Overall, the median income of Illinois residents is growing. According to U.S Censusthe median income of a household grew 6.7 percent in seven years. The median income grew from $55,222 in 2009 to $59,196 in 2016.

In October, the United States unemployment rate was at an extreme low at 3.0 percent. By acknowledging the factors that affected the increase in unemployment and taking the necessary steps to take preventative measures, this would help individuals, the government, and the overall health of the nation as a whole.

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Unemployment Map of U.S.

The unemployment rates have been constantly fluctuating every year. They usually do not stay constant for too long. According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, the rate fluctuates on a local, state, and nationwide level.

There are many factors that affect the unemployment rates, such as the government and the economy.

“I was laid off for quite some time. I searched for a new job constantly. I signed up for online job recruiters, but I did not get anything from them. I was also on LinkedIn,” Rose said.

There are many different resources people use in order to find a job. Many individuals use online employment-oriented service or approach to the job agencies. These employment services assist in linking employers with potential applicants.

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Lina is working as the makeup artist at the “Hair Spa” salon
Photo by Laura Skindaraite

“I personally get about ten job applications every day but as a whole, we distribute the number of people that reach out to us every day,” said Nick Dimitru who works at SNI Companies, a staffing agency that aids individuals with job searches.

The population in Illinois is decreasing. According to the U.S. Census, the estimated population in 2017 was at 12,802,023. World Population Review states that the total population of Illinois in 2018 is 12,768,320

“I have not noticed any trends of when there is a higher amount of people looking for jobs since I have not been with the company for too long but my co-workers have informed me that the market and politics do play a role in the number of people seeking work,” Dimitru said.

Even after approaching the SNI Companies, a job agency the helps people find employment opportunities, people are not guaranteed to get a job because an agency has to follow the requirements from the employers, such as education, experience, and availability of the employee.

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ACS Job Fair, USAG Humphreys
Photo from Creative Commons

“Most jobs are either looking for a few years of experience in that field, a certain level of education or they have tight restrictions that limit the eligible amount of applicants. Some employers require a certain amount of hours worked, or some are only looking for seasonal or contract employees. The market and government put a tight strain on those seeking jobs,” Dimitru said.

However, despite being well qualified, even skilled workers with years of experience are struggling to find a job.

“You would think that mechanics are needed because everyone needs their car fixed, right? I thought so too, mechanics actually have a low unemployment rate but I just couldn’t find a job, it was horrible,” said Jose Hernandez, a skilled mechanic who lost his job in May 2016 and was unemployed for a year.

“I wasn’t very worried about it because I didn’t think it would be hard for me to find a new job. I was applying for different companies and asking people around if they know anyone hiring. I got some calls back but at the end of the day, I still didn’t have a job,” Hernandez said.

Beyond the statistics, workers and experts say unemployment often leads to mental problems and a feeling of unfulfillment.

“I felt really bad and was depressed because I couldn’t provide for my family,” Hernandez said. “I would get some small jobs, helping out our neighbors or friends fixing their cars or just helping around the house but it still wasn’t the same as actually having a job.”





New York Time Lapse

A Look at New York’s Growth Since 1984 By: Madelyn Rose

New York City has been known as one of the largest cities in the United States since the population skyrocketed at the end of the 1700’s. As it continued to grow, it must be able to maintain and build buildings to allow new people to move into different neighborhoods. Along with maintaining an environment that attracts new comers and residences continue to stay in NYC. Today, it has reached its highest record 8.6 million people and had a 5.5 percent growth since 2010. In this graphic you can see that vast changes in New York City as the population has grown throughout the years.,-73.93283,11.459,latLng&t=2.91

 Link: Interactive Graphic

Central Park as grown throughout they ears. The pond has grown, as well as other been added. More fields for baseball, trails, and a zoo have been created for tourists and residence. The buildings have grown and been added all over Manhattan, also on the other side of the bridge in Brooklyn. New York City has only grown bigger since the 80’s, as more people move there to see the big apple.








Craft Beer in the U.S.A

The craft beer industry has been around for years. Many small and independent breweries produce over 6 million barrels of craft beer, making a big economical impact within the United States. In the visual below, statistics show the economical impact craft beer has in our country. This breaks down what states have the the highest sales, as well as jobs created from these industries.

Here you can see the statistics of the sales of craft beer in the U.S.A:

Interactive Graph












Sports Data- Summer Olympics

Summer Olympic Medalists by: Madelyn Rose 

The Summer Olympics is one of the largest world-wide sporting events in history. Different cities all around the world host the event every four years. Bringing together the best athletes from all over, awarding gold, silver and bronze medals to the winners. The graph here represents the amount of gold medals won by participants from the summer Olympics. Over the course of 29 summer games in 20 different countries, there are some athletes that come out on top many times. Proving their mastery in the event.



The United States has the most athletes with gold medals, with Michael Phelps having the highest number. Phelps holds 23 gold medals,  with Ryan Lochte following behind with 6 gold medals. Both these men are participants in the event of swimming. Swimming is one of the events held in every game since the vent started. Overall, the United States has won 2,546 medals throughout Summer Olympic history. The Soviet Union follows behind with 3 gold medal winners Larysa Latynina, Nikolay Andrianov, and Borys Shakhlin.





Google Trends

Pop Culture Wars: Madelyn Rose

The first trend: 80’s Icons

The battle between Michael Jackson and Prince has been on going since the peek of their careers in the 1980’s. To this day the younger generation is still familiar with these two giants in the music industry. I wanted to see who really came out on top for recent searches in the past year. There are a lot of special dates now that these artists are no longer with us. Death days and Birthdays are all special events for these singers, many people tend to search them around these times. This graphic shows the most recent trends between the two October 2017.


Michael Jackson tends to top Prince over the past year. Prince has two major peaks. One is around February, this is the time when his most popular love songs are search. The other peak is around the time of his death. April is the month of his death, and there is a clear rise of searches of his name compared to Michael. Jackson manages to rise above Prince majority of the time. You can see his trend skyrocket in the months of June and August. June is the time of his death, and August is his birth month. Even though Prince also has his birthday in June, Michael was still a bigger trend.

The Second Trend: Superheroes 

Iron Man and Captain America are Marvel Comics biggest superheroes. These two have battled over the thrown for years as the movie franchise has grown bigger. With multiple different movies coming out about them and along with the Avengers series both are a popular search trend. I wanted to see just who is more popular than the other when it comes to trends on google. This graphic represents the google trends since 2004 between Captain America and Iron Man from Marvel Cinematic Universe.


In the graphic, it shows that Iron Man is an overall higher trend than Captain America. Although Iron Man tends to be more popular the two are very closely tied with one another. Captain America has beaten Iron Man in certain months especially when a new standalone movie was released. Iron Man also showed this pattern of having a higher percentage when a movie was released about the character. Iron Man’s rating surpass Captains America in the earlier years when all the Iron Man Movies were released. Along with Captain’s 3 films that came out a couple years after. The two also tie together since the past year, as for the both the actors contracts are ending and what will become of Captain America and Iron Man remain unknown.



Unemployment Net Change

Over the course of 13 years, the unemployment rate has been changing. Since 2006 the rates have been either dropping or rising in America. While in 2009, it had a major dropped making it the lowest unemployment rate we have had.


After 2009, we see an increase of employment rates for the year after. There was a labor force rise and rate of it got higher as the years went on. Until 2012, when it peaked at its highest percentage, then started decreasing again. As the economy is constantly growing or changing the unemployment rates will continue to either rise or drop within our country.