Chicago’s Mount Rushmore

On December 4, 2017, the Chicago Cultural Center unveiled a new mural designed by acclaimed artist and Bronzeville resident Kerry James Marshall, located on the western façade of the center. The mural celebrates 20 Chicago women who changed the artistic and cultural landscape of the city, including CST Founder and Artistic Director Barbara Gaines.

One On One With Barbara Gaines Of
Chicago Shakespeare Theater

"'What was your initial reaction when you found out you were sharing space with these women?' 'I mean, first of all you're just stunned, you don't believe that you're a part of it...this was Kerry's idea of subject, to celebrate women. I mean, how often does that happen these days? That doesn't happen a lot. So, here's Kerry, celebrating the accomplishments of 20 women who he felt fit... to be in such august company is an honor.'"   Hear the interview


Massive new mural called ‘Mount Rushmore’
of inspiring Chicago women

"A 132-foot mural now wraps around the Chicago Cultural Center, turning what was once bare limestone into a testament to some of the city’s most influential women who shaped its culture, including Joan Gray, Lois Weisburg, Jackie Taylor and so many more. 'They are really the backbone, the spine, the spirit, the heart. They are really what it means to make culture in Chicago,' artist Kerry James Marshall said at the mural's unveiling Monday."  Watch the video


Kerry James Marshall Unveils Monumental Mural in the Loop
"'This piece is going to capture, I think, the imagination not only of the city but the country and put Chicago in its rightful place as a city of public art. We are blessed to have one of the great artists of the beginning part of the 21st century, Kerry James Marshall, who will tell the story of 20 women who changed the cultural landscape and changed our vision of the way we see ourselves and the world sees us,' stated Mayor Rahm Emanuel."  Watch the video


Chicago Sun-Times Press Coverage of The Yard

Loop mural honors 20 women who shaped
Chicago arts and culture

"Marshall's design, which runs 132 feet long and 100 feet wide along the Chicago Cultural Center's western facade, depicts a group of trees with the women's faces carved within the tree trunks. The mural utilizes bright colors throughout and a radiating sun to open up the narrow Garland Court alley to nature. At the same time, Marshall said he made sure to include signature buildings from Chicago's skyline, placing the scene in Chicago's vicinity."  Watch the video


Chicago Sun-Times Press Coverage of The Yard

Artist: New Cultural Center mural echoes Chicago’s past
"With his Cultural Center mural featuring 20 women who shaped Chicago, artist Kerry James Marshall pointed out on Monday that the piece echoes the message of 50-year-old mural on the South Side: 'The Wall of Respect.' 'If what that 'Wall of Respect' idea meant was anything, it meant what all of these women have meant for Chicago,' Marshall said at the unveiling. 'If you think there's something that needs to be done, go out and do it.'"  Read the article


Take a look at Kerry James Marshall’s gigantic new mural at the Chicago Cultural Center
"Marshall charged the city just $1 to create the mural, though the rest of the project was funded by Murals of Acceptance, an organization that seeks to install art in public settings. 'When I was asked to design a mural for narrow Garland Court, it was immediately clear to me that the site had to be 'opened up' in some way…My solution was a park-like view with a bright sun and stand of trees to bring light and green space to the location.'"  Read the article


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