For Immediate Release
ComEd Media Relations
Large work of public art celebrates the legacy, sustainability, and innovation of the historic community
CHICAGO (Sept. 24, 2020) - ComEd today unveiled a new 'Bronzeville Renaissance' wall mural located on Chicago's south side at 38th Street and Michigan Avenue (3805 S. Michigan Ave.). Standing at eight feet high and 120 feet long, this sizable piece of public art extends the full length of a once vacant lot surrounded by historic art institutions such as the South Side Community Art Center and the Margaret Burroughs mansion, which was the original site of the DuSable Museum of African American History.
"ComEd is excited to unveil the Renaissance mural as a visual representation of our continued commitment to the community of Bronzeville," said Shay Bahramirad, ComEd's vice president of engineering and smart grid. "Over the last several years we've re-invested in Bronzeville through our Community of the Future program with the goal of providing a better way of life to residents through smart and renewable energy solutions."
ComEd partnered with community groups and local artists to bring the mural to life. Participants included students from Little Black Pearl Art & Design Academy who provided the foundational mural design and concepting and Gallery Guichard who served as artistic advisors for the project. Visual artists Shawn Michael Warren and Rahmaan 'Statik' Barnes lent their creative talents to execute the design and Miami-based creative lab Before It's Too Late coordinated the technology for the mural's augmented reality (A/R) experiences.
The mural has been created in conjunction with ComEd's Community of the Future (CoF) initiative. CoF is a program that is designed to implement sustainable energy solutions in urban communities as well as provide education and access to resources to help communities like Bronzeville become more resilient in the face of environmental challenges like climate change. This is done through innovative technologies and advocacy that leverages the arts and culture to engage local residents.
The mural itself is affixed to a stone wall that houses and protects electrical equipment associated with ComEd's Bronzeville Community Microgrid. Encompassing bold and beautiful colors with sharp imagery, the mural tells the story of Bronzeville's past through the representation of iconic African American leaders and activists connected to the community, and the STEM field. One of the most unique features of the mural is the interactive A/R experience activated via markers positioned around the mural. Residents and visitors can scan markers on the mural with their mobile device to be directed to a mobile app that takes a deeper exploration into the mural's content. The Bronzeville Renaissance Mural app will include videos, simulations, and engaging data and imagery that highlight topics surrounding climate change, clean energy, Bronzeville's historic legacy, and ComEd's commitment to the future of the community.
Visually, the mural is split evenly in half with a 'Historical side' featuring hand-painted narrative art by Chicago native, Shawn Michael Warren and a 'Future side' with graffiti-style artwork painted by one of Chicago's top muralists, Rahmaan Statik. Some of the individuals featured on the historical side of the mural include former NASA mathematician Katherine Johnson, former poet laureate of Illinois Gwendolyn Brooks, light bulb innovator Lewis Latimer, civil rights pioneer Ida B. Wells and former Chicago Mayor Harold Washington. The future side of the mural features the faces of anonymous African American youth intricately tied in with real-world elements of the Community of the Future program including artificial intelligence, smart kiosks, electric rideshare vehicles, renewable street lighting sensors and nods to ComEd's STEM education programs that the company hosts with local schools and youth groups.
"As our mission pushes on, we're happy to continue to engage students and young people around the rich history and possibilities for greatness available in Bronzeville and throughout greater Chicago. The mural is a beautiful piece of art and a true reflection of the community past and present. Our hope is that it will remain as a symbol of prosperity in Bronzeville for years to come," said Bahramirad.
The Bronzeville Renaissance mural is now available to be viewed and experienced by the public. For more information on the Community of the Future initiative, visit PoweringLives.ComEd.com.
ComEd is a unit of Chicago-based Exelon Corporation (NASDAQ: EXC), a Fortune 200 energy company with approximately 10 million electricity and natural gas customers – the largest number of customers in the U.S. ComEd powers the lives of more than 4 million customers across northern Illinois, or 70 percent of the state’s population. For more information visit
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