As a fine art student, street art to me is amusing to the eyes but not too much of a master piece like what we see hung up in museums. Moving to Chicago was a turning point for my point of view. Not long after I moved to Chicago, my impression of street art was changed. Walking from typical downtown area across South Wabash Avenue to the distinguish streets of Pilsen neighborhood or the dynamic hipster Wicker Park area, I found countless of murals that made me constantly in awe of how amazing and impactful street art could be. I saw huge murals on South Wabash Avenue where artists were art school students and there was a whole street that was filled with their work, LEGALLY (yes, it surprised me that street art were not vandalism here but being appreciated, embraced and even encouraged). I saw murals in Wicker Park that introduced me to one of my favorite artist Herakut who now inspires me everyday. Every steps I took in Pilsen were filled with art, culture and political messages. The works were colorful and diverse with different styles but moreover, they all have their own messages. Their voices were “loud” because they delivered the feelings, the thoughts, the rage of real people in the community. For once, I realized how street art can be so powerful. Now, every time I walk down the street, I always look out for some interesting street art that can pop up from any places. Normally, when you walk into an area with a lot of graffiti, drawings on walls, you would assume that the area you are in is somehow a bit ghetto. Chicago is different. Chicago is more than a accepting and a creativity boiling pot. It altered the “ghetto” to beauty. It altered the “ghetto” to something you love to look, something meaningful, informative and linger in you thoughts and heart. I’m so happy that I moved to Chicago and cannot wait to dwell into the art scene and see myself grow in this city.
Walking is a luxury, a privilege, a necessity and definitely a right. Walking through the streets of Chicago, I observed many kinds of walking. There are people who walk their dogs on a Saturday afternoon, people who walk and talking together, people who walk their kids in the neighborhood, those I think are the luxury walk. The kind of walk that is relaxing. The kind of walk that does not necessary has a destination to rush to, the most enjoyable ones. There were also the kind of walk that is necessity, people walk to places. These I found a lot on school campus where me and my friends walk from class to class or from our dorms to the STU. Years ago, people walk to places all the time but now vehicles came along and walks became less appreciated or even avoided however, walking is still a necessity. It is, as Malchik mentioned, a way to improve our health, it is an exercise, an unexpected medicine/ vaccine to many diseases. Moreover, walking is our right as human. We can walk to wherever we want, this reminds me of our reading earlier in the quarter on women and walking. Women used to not being able to walk freely due to the stigma on the streets. Walking is a way of proving our right, our privilege, a way of proving that the world we are living in is safe.