Six Corners Association brings “JagLeo” mural to building on Cicero Avenue
by BRIAN NADIG
A 12-by-45-foot mural featuring an image that combines a jaguar and a leopard recently was painted on the side of a building on Cicero Avenue as part of the Six Corners Association’s public art initiative.
Artist Tony Passero said that inspiration for the “JagLeo” design started when his son asked about the differences between jaguars and leopards. Stumped by the question, Passero began researching the answer and got the idea of blending the two cats into a single image.
The mural also includes columns of what passersby have said resemble Arabic letters or a type of language from outer space, Passero said.
The “weird” lettering as Passero describes the images, along with an array of bright colors in the background, are intended to make the mural more noticeable given that it is in a parking lot and setback from the roadway. “It’s just an element to draw the eye in,” he said.
Funds from for the project were donated from the Public Art Trust, Jeff’s Red Hots, 3901 N. Cicero Ave., and State Farm agent Shane Parekh’s office, 3907 N. Cicero Ave., where the mural is located. With the help of artist Jerry Rogowski, Passero completed the mural in six days.
Association executive director Kelli Wefenstette said that the mural’s location was chosen to help deter graffiti in the area and to bring more public art to the southern half of the business district. “A lot of our murals are north of Irving, by virtue of the good wall space there,” she said.
In recent years the association has installed several murals and sculptures. The National Main Street Program has designated Six Corners as a model community for its use of public art and entertainment to help revitalize an area, and on Nov. 2 the association will host a Main Street workshop on the topic.
One of the strategies being used by the association is to place temporary murals in some of the vacant storefronts and then relocate them as each space becomes leased, Wefenstette said.