Evanston Mural Arts Program paints the town, unveiling two new murals


Photo Courtesy to Lea Pinsky

Muralist Max Sansing cutting the ribbon in front of his newest mural on the metra line off of Davis Street.

The Evanston Mural Arts Program has unveiled two new murals. Situated at the new senior living development Trulee Evanston, a mural by Molly Zakrajsek depicts an abstract night garden and another work by Max Sansing at  the Metra line off Davis Street depicts two faces amidst a cloudy sky.

The program, through local nonprofit Art Encounter, hosted unveiling celebrations and ribbon cuttings for the artists’ works on Friday. 

Art Encounter’s executive director Lea Pinsky oversees the program and said it’s important to host ceremonies like these to honor public art and the time and planning that goes into creating a mural.

Between pandemic delays, securing funding, identifying artists, getting designs made, getting designs approved, waiting for the weather to get warm, preparing the wall and painting the wall, we’re talking about a multi-year project,” Pinsky said. 

Pinsky added it’s important to recognize the community’s goals. The program aids community organizations in their aspirations to make murals rather than simply looking for concrete to paint. 

Trulee Evanston reached out to the program to construct a mural that emphasized community engagement, Pinsky said. To accomplish that goal, she said Zakrajsek, known artistically as Molly Z, invited Trulee residents, adults from the Center for Independent Futures and students from One River School to help paint the 200-foot long nature-inspired mural. 

“It matters when people who live and work in the area get the opportunity to paint a wall that they’ll see every day,” Zakrajsek said. “It creates ownership in the community and pride.”

Zakrajsek, who has painted other city murals, created the colorful night garden with bright colors and constructed it in four parts to take onlookers through the four seasons. She said she finds nature inspiring, which corresponds with Trulee Evanston’s requested theme, “live inspired.” 

Meena Sharma, a south Evanston resident, said she loves seeing new murals in Evanston. 

“I enjoy when I’m on drives going places and I’m able to see the fun art and see what’s new,” Sharma said. “I like seeing how they represent different people in the community, and how they bring different things into the Evanston space for people to regularly see.” 

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