Soaring Toward Excellence

Title:  Soaring Toward Excellence

Site:  Jones Academic Magnet High School
606 S. State Street, Chicago

Artists:  Chris Silva

Assistants: Melissa Quintas, Rani Tserotas, David Cuesta, and Pete Quintas

Community Participants: 
Alfredo Valadares Jr., Lara Unnerstall, Krystina Seastrunk, Ian Scruggs, Angelica Robles, Tamikia Reed, Evelyn Reed, Diana Perez, Stuart Osborn, Angelina Lott, Tangela Johnson, Alejandro Hernandez, Joel Gonzalez, Junei Collins, and Laura Ocampo

Sponsors:  Chicago Public Art Group and Jones Academic Magnet High School

Year:  1999

Scale:  Variable - twelve shaped plywood panels

Materials:  Acrylic paint and spray enamel on plywood panels

Information:  Silva and the assistants worked with fifteen incoming freshman students to create their high-flying vision of learning and human evolution. Panel murals can feel like relatively small, temporary paintings lost on a large wall. Silva’s innovative shaping and placement of the panels utilize the entire wall for its amusing and whimsical composition. Students developed drawings in Silva’s signature hip-hop-influenced cartoon-like style to represent their goals as trying to achieve flight. Birds, hybrid birdbooks, and angels frolic against a colorful geometric backdrop. The mural has a very energetic and youthful feel to it, which helps to identify the building as a high school.