The Donnelley Center Community Art Garden, a neighborhood art playground, can also be enjoyed by rapid transit riders.

The community mural is an art form that is known and understood around the world. It’s a larger than life representation of a community’s histories and hopes. Today, cheaply produced advertising threatens to dominate the visual environment in many towns and cities. Community murals provide a cost-effective method for people to publicly celebrate those things that they consider to be truly important, identifying themselves to each other as well as to visitors to the community.

Painting a community mural is a public performance. People often comment that they look at paintings differently, having had the opportunity to see a mural project develop before their eyes. Community muralists orchestrate design and painting processes that create opportunities for both skilled and  less skilled participants to make meaningful contributions to the project.

This section begins with Bernard Williams descriptions of basic technical methods used by Chicago Public Art Group artists to design and paint indoor and outdoor murals. John Pittman Weber updates a chapter from his classic book, Towards a People’s Art, exploring the aesthetics of composing murals. In “Constructing and Deconstructing Walls” several muralists explain how their style of designing walls has evolved in response to postmodern conceptions of painting and design. Representing a range of styles, processes, and models of community engagement, the extensive mural portfolio spans over three decades of Chicago community murals.