If you haven’t heard, 2017 is the Year of Public Art in Chicago, and there are hundreds of fascinating exhibits, talks, public programs, walks and more going on until the end of the year in neighborhoods around the city, from the far Northwest Side to Hegewisch. Not surprisingly, the Chicago Cultural Center is the nerve center of many programs, including several rotating exhibits, public conversations and other events for locals and visitors.

One of the most notable exhibits is of the celebrated Wall of Respect, which was created in the Bronzeville neighborhood, at 43rd and Langley, in 1967. Fourteen designers and artists worked on it, including Chicago muralist William Walker. Some of the notable individuals included in the mural are Nat Turner, Aretha Franklin, Gwendolyn Brooks and Harriet Tubman. 

Wall of Respect Chicago

Wall of Respect Chicago

The Wall of Respect remained up until 1971. It has been recreated in part for the special exhibit titled The Wall of Respect: Vestiges, Shards and the Legacy of Black Power, which runs until July 30, 2017. Visitors can come by to view the exhibit during that time, as well as offer their own ideas regarding “respect” as part of the Links of Respect community art project. It’s a great way to learn about one corner of Chicago’s vast public-art tradition.


Plan Your Trip

Chicago Cultural Center
78 E. Washington St.
Chicago Rooms, 2nd Floor North

  • Open daily
  • Admission: FREE 


If you’re interested in learning more about the the Wall of Respect, there’s a great online exhibition here, courtesy of Northwestern University. For more on the great public art around Chicago, check out our guide.