Chicago’s artistic vigilantes are at it again.
You might remember back in May of last year an artistic vigilante by the name of Jim Bachor was roaming Chicago’s streets filling in unsightly potholes with prismatic mosaics. The street artist’s charitable and talented efforts impressed the people of Chicago in 2020 and it looks as though a group of Rogers Park artists has been equally inspired.
— Lonely Planet (@lonelyplanet) May 7, 2020
Rogers Park on Chicago’s Far North Side has recently seen numerous potholes and neglected roadsides repaired using a mixture of bike parts and decorative tiles. This time the artistic vigilante working for the greater good is Tzippora Rhodes and some of her talented collaborators.
According to Tzippora Rhodes, her work has been funded by a grant that the nonprofit AARP awarded to The Recyclery Collective. The grant was awarded as part of a program that strives to make communities safer for those with mobility restrictions. While The Recyclery Collective, of which Rhodes is an active member, is also a nonprofit that saves discarded bikes by repairing them and bringing them back to their former glory.
So, a Rogers Park art mystery: who is filling potholes with sculpture made of bike parts, pottery shards, and tools? I have found 3 locations so far(the 2 small ones are adjacent). @JayDubWard @RPWRHS @rpublichouse @ChiAlderwoman pic.twitter.com/cBx1271Mfr
— Bill Savage (@RogersParkMan) January 21, 2021
With the support, Rhodes sought to inject ‘functional art’ into the neighborhood’s makeup while making Rogers Park and West Ridge safer and more accessible. Discarded bike parts were installed within cement fillings that patched up the potentially dangerous potholes on Rogers Park streets. Rhodes collaborated with local artist Thistle and Edgewater-based Chicago Mosaic School while Jim Bachelor was reportedly also approached to team up with the assortment of philanthropic vigilantes.
In total there are seven artistically repaired potholes including a Ruth Bader Ginsburg-inspired. While some have been spotted around Rogers Park, Rhodes refrained from providing specific locations due to another motive behind the art project encouraging people to get out and explore more. This way, Rhodes hopes that people will be rewarded by serendipitously discovering new pieces of art where they least expect it.
[Featured image from Unsplash]