Around Town: Top 3 Street Art Neighborhoods in Chicago

Stickers, posters, wheatpaste art, commissioned murals: Chicago street art is as diverse as the city’s districts. For a town with a spray-paint ban that’s lasted over two decades and a graffiti fine that can cost an arm and leg, Chicago street art is very much alive. In the past couple of weeks, The Expressionist visited a variety of Chicago’s neighborhoods. Here are our top three neighborhoods of street art in the Windy City!


#3 Wicker Park/Bucktown

Hipsters rejoice! Of course Wicker Park made it into our top three! Since we’re familiar with the area, we knew there’d be something to see on the walls our way to Reckless Records and Myopic Bookstore- and there was (and that’s not just because we happened to visit Wicker Park during the CHIditarod Race, which made the neighborhood a lot quirkier than usual with clowns and Wes Anderson characters running about). Although there is a strict program dedicated to cleaning up the streets, we found works of art everywhere!

#2 Rogers Park

Want to see some amazing murals, but don’t have the time or motivation to go on a quest throughout the whole city? Fear no more, because there is some amazing work in our own Rogers Park! From the painted benches at Hartigan Beach to the community-based art initiative called the Mile of Murals right off the Morse Red Line stop, there is plenty to see in our neighborhood. New themes are chosen each year through an intense selection process judged by leaders of the community and art professionals! For more information on how to get involved with Mile of Murals click here!

#1 Pilsen

Ah! The heart of the art in Chicago! Pilsen may have been an obvious choice, but it did not disappoint! It is quite the trek from our northern Rogers Park area, but it’s totally worth it! For our trip to Pilsen, the Expressionist teamed up with another Loyola-based blog that aims to express the authentic experience of the Chicago neighborhoods they visit, Urban Explorers. We had an amazing time (and ate delicious Mexican food)! Although the National Museum of Mexican Art is something to check out, the phenomenal murals around Pilsen are what made this creative, cultural neighborhood our #1.

Check out this video that Urban Explorers made of our trip (you may see an Expressionist or two at the beginning… )

Think we missed an important neighborhood? Would you have numbered this differently? Let us know!  Comment below or tweet us @ExpressLUC with your thoughts! 


4 thoughts on “Around Town: Top 3 Street Art Neighborhoods in Chicago

  1. Thanks Peter! That means a lot to us! It helps to have great subjects to photograph!

  2. I have been to Wicker Park and Pilsen and have seen amazing street art. In Wicker Park I liked how it was very different from Pilsen. Wicker Park was more hipster while Pilsen was culturally based street art. I would have to say that I liked Pilsen’s street art more because of the culture and what it represented.

  3. We’re glad you agree with us, Hannah! Wicker Park had some amazing art, but for us Pilsen just took the cake! It’s hard to compete with Pilsen’s art, but Wicker Park and Rogers Park had such great art it was definitely tough for us to decide.

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