Where There is Discord, Harmony; The Power of Art

Title:  Where There is Discord, Harmony; The Power of Art

Site:  One Artist Row
1801 E. 71st Street, Chicago

Artists:  Marcus Akinlana and Olivia Gude

Assistant: Ivan Watkins

Community Participants: A team of community youths

Sponsors:  Chicago Public Art Group and the Neighborhood Institute

Year:  1991

Scale:  30 x 60 feet

Materials:  Acrylic paint on masonry

Information:  Located at One Artist Row, an arts incubator building, this mural focuses on the healing role of the arts in an urban community. The monumental spiral which dominates the design is a symbol of the cycle of death and renewed life in many cultures. Creating the spiral as well as emanating from it are the tools of the visual art trade. In the left corner the discarded fine art frame and the burning billboard with cigarette and alcohol ads are acknowledgements that visual arts can serve negative or empty purposes. The three eyes of the spiral allude to artistic vision; the third eye is the spiritual insight needed to make art relevant to the community. The work broke new aesthetic ground in that the artist chose to eliminate the traditional use of human figures and an obvious narrative structure.