Chicago's Year of Public Art rolls on with an exciting addition to the already amazing diversity of programs, talks, and of course, compelling new public art installations. Kerry James Marshall, the celebrated contemporary artist is bringing a massive new piece to the Chicago Cultural Center over the coming weeks — and at 132 by 100 feet — it will be nothing short of epic.

Work has already started on the piece and visitors should wander over to Garland Court (the side street immediately west of the Cultural Center) to take a look at the piece as it continues to go up.

Marshall noted that “My idea was to make a Forest Rushmore acknowledging the contribution of 20 women who’ve worked to shape the cultural landscape of the city, past and present.” 

The women who will be in the Kerry James Marshall mural include Margaret Burroughs, Harriet Monroe, Gwendolyn Brooks, Achy Obejas, and Oprah Winfrey. The idea behind the piece was to celebrate a range of women who’ve contributed mightily to the Windy City’s landscape and also provide visitors with a different way of looking at this particular section of the Cultural Center.

The piece, the largest artwork ever designed or created by Marshall, will be complete by late October and dedicated in November, so visitors should head on over to get a look at the work in progress. Follow along here:


So far, so good! #KerryJamesMarshall #2017isYOPA #ChiPublicArt

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Mural in Progress

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@jeffzimmermann With a mural for #kerryjamesmarshall on the @chiculturcenter Great progress. #👍🏼 #🏆

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#KerryJamesMarshall Cultural Center #mural going up.

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Additionally, it’s always worth a look inside the Cultural Center to check out one of their free exhibits or concerts. Right now, get there for the Chicago Architecture Biennial, continuing through January 2018. Plan your visit:

Chicago Cultural Center

78 E. Washington Street
Chicago, Illinois 60602


Chicago is celebrating its many fountains, sculptures and murals throughout 2017, the Year of Public Art. Learn more about the related events, exhibits and new installations at and share your #2017isYOPA pictures with @choosechicago.