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Photos: The Logan Square Mega Mall's Amazing, Final Murals Before Demolition

By Tankboy in Arts & Entertainment on Jun 2, 2016 8:00PM

By Rachel Cromidas and Jim Kopeny/Tankboy

A jaw-dropping mural featuring the work of about 25 artists went up on the side of the soon-to-be demolished Mega Mall this week.

The project was organized by the artist Amuse126 and carried out by his crew of talented cohorts, along with Billy Craven from Galerie F, and with the blessing of the owners of the property. The derelict Logan Square institution's walls have long played host to colorful street art, but these murals will likely be its last before it faces the wrecking ball.

Craven, Galerie F's co-owner, told Chicagoist that the art project was imagined as a last hurrah for the Mega Mall, which will likely not last for much longer than the next month. It was also a much needed chance to let local street artists showcase their work, all while beautifying Logan Square in the process.

"For so many of the artists all over Chicago, the mega mall structure in general is something that people have always wanted to paint for many many years," he said. "We wanted to bring a bunch of different artists, many of whom don't usually get to work with each other side by side on the streets, and to give it a beautiful farewell, so to speak. To dress her up before she goes out."

One of the artists involved, Frank Quintero, also spoke to Chicagoist about the project. When we asked him what spurred his involvement Qintero told us it was a one of a kind opportunity.

"I couldn't pass up the chance to paint the Mega Mall, the place is huge and it's an unofficial landmark of the neighborhood," he said.

Mega Mall Mural, photo courtesy Frank Quintero

Quintero was born and raised in Chicago, and sees the demise of the Mega Mall as a consequence of changing times.

"Chicago has always been changing. You can be part of that change doing something positive along the way, or be miserable and complain about everything," he said. "I use my art to be part of that change."

About two dozen artists were involved with the mural, and had their own portion of the building to themselves. We asked Quintero what drove his own contribution.

"I paint characters that are enjoying life," he said. "Since the building's getting torn down, including Logan Square, Chicago in my piece was important to me. When someone sees a photo of the wall I want them to know it was painted here in the city."

Craven said the temporary nature of the Mega Mall made it an appropriate canvas for the artists.

"Street art and graffiti are ephemeral, and aren't necessarily intended to last forever," he said. "So this is like a perfect reminder of that."