‘Doodle’ mural welcomes patients to new Opt Vision Studio in Jefferson Park
by BRIAN NADIG
A floor-to-ceiling “doodle” mural inside the new Opt Vision Studio, 5371 W. Lawrence Ave., in Jefferson Park depicts an array of area landmarks and Chicago icons, who — of course — are wearing glasses.
Sports legends Mike Ditka and Michael Jordan have glasses in the mural, and the community’s namesake, Thomas Jefferson, is wearing a cool-looking pair of sunglasses. There’s even a drawing of Pope John Paul II, whose motorcade once traveled through Jefferson Park, in which he is pretending to wear glasses, an image that was taken from an actual photograph of him.
There also are images of the Chicago skyline, the CTA Blue Line and the Copernicus Center, 5216 W. Lawrence Ave., where studio owner Dr. Gabrielle Szwajca-Drewniak attended the annual “Taste of Polonia” festival as a child. Her dog Stanley, a Welch corgi, also is shown in the black-and-white mural.
The mural was created and painted by Chicago artists Luis Colindres and Tom Molloy, who both grew up in Lincoln Square and attended Saint Benedict School, Gordon Tech High School and Columbia College together.
The mural took a couple of days to paint, and while a general design is sketched out first, “the best” part of doodle art is the improvising which goes on during the painting, leading to some surprised imagination in the final product, Molloy said. He added that his signature “tentacle monster” made it in the mural and that Chicago’s official bird, a peregrine falcon, also is included.
Szwajca-Drewniak said that she chose Jefferson Park for her business in part because of her familiarity with the community and its strong Polish heritage, taking field trips to the Copernicus Center as a child and her husband Roman grew up in the neighborhood. His parents live near the studio, she said.
She has traveled to Mexico, Peru and Nepal, providing eye exams and glasses to people living in poverty.
The Opt Vision Studio, which opened Feb. 1, offers comprehensive eye care services, prescription glasses and sunglasses, and contact lenses. Eye exams are available in English, Polish and Spanish.
Appointments can be scheduled online at www.optvisionstudio.com or by calling 312-525-9621. The studio is located next to the Jefferson Park Library.
(Pictured are Dr. Gabrielle Szwajca-Drewniak and artists Luis Colindres and Tom Molloy)