New art museum scheduled to open next year in Jeff Park


The sponsors of a new mural at Lawrence and Avondale avenues honoring the late Chicago artist Ed Paschke have announced that a Paschke museum and learning center will open in the Jefferson Park commercial district in 2014.

The location of the museum will be announced in 90 days, but plans call for the Ed Paschke Art Center to be open by June 22, which would have been Paschke’s 75th birthday, according to Lionel Rabb of the Rabb Family Foundation, which co-sponsored the mural with the 3M Company.

Paschke was a nationally known artist who belonged to a group known as the imagists and who painted in a style that was influenced by abstract and expressionist art and by the pop art movement of the 1960s.

The center will feature works by Paschke that the Ed Paschke Foundation selected and an educational center that will allow visitors to learn about Paschke’s art form, Rabb said. The Rabb and Paschke foundations, the School of the Art Institute, Northwestern University and 3M are the sponsors of the center.

Jefferson Park was chosen for the center because Paschke lived on the Northwest Side and was known for promoting access to art in blue collar communities, Rabb said. The center initially will be housed in an existing building, but long-term plans call for construction of a new facility, he said.

A dozen of Paschke’s works are featured on the walls of the Union Pacific Railroad viaduct in the 5100 block of West Lawrence Avenue. The mural consists of digital reproductions which were transferred to a film wrap that was installed on the viaduct 3 weeks ago.

The film wrap, which was donated by 3M, is environmentally friendly, Rabb said. Initial plans called for the mural to be painted on the viaduct.

"The 3M Envision Wrap Films used to display the beautiful work of Ed Paschke are a 3M invention that sets a new level of performance for sustainability," 3M head of sustainability Michele Whyle said. "The 3M Envision wrap films are phthalate-free and made without the use of PVC using a unique 3M manufacturing process that uses less volatile organic compounds."

On the western entrance to the viaduct, a description of the mural has been painted on a space which formerly was occupied by a "Jazz, Jefferson Park" mural. A welcome to Jefferson Park sign is planned for the eastern entrance to the viaduct.

The Rabb Foundation also is providing resources for a science- and mathematics-themed mural which Arts Alive 45, a local nonprofit, is planning to paint on the walls of a Union Pacific viaduct on Ainslie Street, east of Lipps Avenue and north of the Jefferson Park CTA Terminal. The mural will feature formulas that students use at school, Cyd Smillie of Arts Alive said.

Arts Alive is waiting for approval by Union Pacific.