• Lincoln Square PaintWorks - Community Art Program
  • Welcome to PaintWorks – Where creativity meets community. Curious about what PaintWorks is all about? It's the artistic heartbeat of the Lincoln Square Neighborhood Improvement Program (SSA #21), dedicated to injecting life and color into our urban landscape. The Lincoln Square Neighborhood Improvement Program is using local tax dollars to turn Lincoln Square into a lively canvas. From the walls to plazas, PaintWorks turns ordinary spots of Lincoln Square into extraordinary sights.

    Curious about PaintWorks?  Property owners in Lincoln Square looking to host an art project can submit applications at any time. Once the SSA Commissioners grant approval to a host site, the focus shifts to artists through a public Request for Proposal (RFP). An Arts Committee takes on the responsibility of meticulously reviewing artist submissions. Their top choices are then presented to the SSA Commission for the final approval. Once the Commission gives the green light, the selected artist is informed, and they begin working on their masterpiece.

  • Lincoln Square Mural - The Announcement
  • How To Get Involved

    Want to host a mural on your property or business? Interested in applying to take part in PaintWorks as an artist? Or are you a community member that just wants to get involved? Learn how below.

  • For Property Owners For Property Owners

    SSA 21 accepts applications to host a mural on a rolling basis.

    • Murals must be within the SSA District
    • Murals must face the public way
    • Murals should remain in place for at least 3 years
    • Maintenance funding is not guaranteed
    • $500 participation fee (due at completion)
    • Site owners are invited to weigh in on artist/design

    Property owners can apply via an online application, or mail a paper form to the Chamber of Commerce:

    Attn: Ian Tobin
    4505 N Lincoln Avenue, Storefront
    Chicago, IL 60625



  • For Artists For Artists

    Request For Proposals (RFP) are sent to local artists after mural sites are selected. Selected artists are paid $5,000* (unless otherwise noted) for their work. Artists interested in receiving RFPs should enroll in our artist directory.

    To view open requests for proposals, click here.

    *Artist payment is all-inclusive (labor, supplies, travel, etc.). No exceptions.



  • For the Community For the Community

    PaintWorks murals need help from the community - we can't do it alone! All donors giving over $500 get recognized with the mural itself.

    PaintWorks is not soliciting donations at this time.

  • Why Invest In Public Art?  Public art isn't just embellishment. The importance of public art lies in its ability to reimagine the urban environment, making it more than just a backdrop to daily life. It elevates the quality of urban living, offering residents and visitors an experience that goes beyond the mundane (like the Hebru Brantley's mural on the Western CTA substation). As cities evolve, public art becomes a crucial element in shaping a distinctive, vibrant identity of its neighborhoods.

  • Calling All Artists for 2024!  As we further emerge from the pandemic, the Neighborhood Improvement Program is on the lookout for talented artists ready to bring fresh energy to Lincoln Square through captivating murals. Your art has the potential to redefine and elevate many bland spaces in Lincoln Square into vibrant destinations. Submit your vision, and let's paint a bright future together in Lincoln Square!



  • Current Requests for Proposals

    4879 N Lincoln AvenueDue April 5, 2024

    4600 block of N Lincoln Crosswalks -  RFP Forthcoming




  • Past Projects

  • "River Flight"

    Artist: Franklin Riley
    Mural Commissioned: 2017
    Location: 2803 W Lawrence Avenue

    Working with oils, Franklin Riley creates groups of stylized landscapes, cityscapes, figurative, and abstract pieces with strong brushwork, layered under-paintings, stencils, and simple compositions.The subtle understanding of direct and reflected light, and the way it alters color, temperature, and even the shape of objects, architecture, and environments... play an important role in much of his work.

    Riley is currently the Director and working studio artist at Fulton Market Gallery, located in the Fulton Market/West Loop neighborhood of downtown Chicago.

  • "Cambodian Color"

    Artist: Brandin Hurley
    Mural Commissioned: 2017
    Location: 2831 W Lawrence Avenue

    Brandin Hurley is a Chicago based installation artist with a background in Scenic Design. Although her medium varies, her favorite element is light, and she enjoys experimenting with its flexibility and ethereal wonder in all contexts. Her work, often inspired by the seemingly eternal and awe-inspiring patterns in both nature and mythology, has culminated in installations of delicate glowing crystals, flocks of floating brass molecules, a room of luminous paper honeycomb, and looming papercut faces of mythological demons.

    Recently, her work features intricate and ethereal worlds based around historical and mythological women, particularly those with strong connections to the natural world.

  • "The Announcement"

    Artist: Jason Watts
    Mural Commissioned: 2018
    Location: 5011 N Lincoln Avenue

    “We see symbols, logos and icons everyday as part of daily life, from advertising to bar and club signage to the brands that are steeped in local tradition. I think of my paintings as a mashup of the  iconography, symbols and local references that are part of our past and present.” - Jason Watts

  • "Communication Station"

    Artist: Christopher Hungerman
    Mural Commissioned: 2018
    Location: 4647 N Lincoln Avenue

    CJ Hungerman is an American artist from Pittsburgh who has his studio in Chicago. He has created many public art projects in Chicago. His most notable piece of public art, funded by the Mayor’s Office and the City of Chicago, is a 500 square foot original artwork he conceived and created for the new Chinatown Library.  He creates Visual Riot composed of patterned kinetic color chaos, with layers and shapes that explode into surrealistic landscapes of optic riddles.

  • "Parade of Abes"

    Artist: Various from One River School of Art + Design
    Project Commissioned: 2018
    Location: Various

    Since being replaced by pay-boxes, the City's coin-operated meters have been recommissioned as hitching posts for cyclists.  To encourage cycling in the community, we wanted to make these meters pop!  Artists from One River School of Art + Design transformed the meters into a "Parade of Abes" up and down Lincoln Avenue.

  • "Life Raft"

    Artist: Rachel Lindsay-Snow
    Installation Commissioned: 2019
    Location: 4552 N Western Avenue

    While grappling with laborious actions of ritual and repetition, much of Lindsay-Snow's recent work engages notions of mortality, cycle, and the temporal through the poetic gesture.  Through installation, performance and sculpture; and the use of multiples, process, the surreal, and uncanny: Lindsay-Snow collaborates in moments of pause, re-centering, and questioning.  They see the process of making art as a practice of asking questions, research, and wonder.

  • "All Shapes and Colors"

    Artist: Andrea Jablonski
    Installation Commissioned: 2020
    Location: 4840 N Lincoln Avenue

    Andrea Jablonski was commissioned to design the area's first street mural.  Created with inspiration from flags, street signs and the Razzle Dazzle camouflage artists of WWII, Jablonski created a grid-like colorful design to encourage spaces for people to gather while still socially distancing during the COVID pandemic.  Each geometric shape helps to delineate a space for seating elements that will be fluid to work with for future events planned in the plaza.  The palette was decided by colors available through the specialty paint used for asphalt.  The design exhibits diversity and community by bringing a variety of colors and shapes into a cohesive design.  Public art, in this case, can be walked, skipped, danced on and enjoyed!



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