Dorian Sylvain

Dorian Sylvain outside of The Forum on 43rd Street in Bronzeville, Oct. 16. The Forum, recently listed on the National Register of Historic Places, bears two of Sylvain’s murals. The mural on the left honors artist, educator and DuSable Museum of African American History founder Margaret Burroughs; the mural on the right honors poet and educator Gwendolyn Brooks. The central mural of the three is a tribute to Nat King Cole and was painted by Sam Kirk. 

Kenwood artist Dorian Sylvain, who recently won a $30,000 grant from 3Arts, has been chosen as one of the city’s artists-in-residence through a new pilot program. 

The program, which will also run in Englewood, Austin and New City/Back of the Yards, is designed to encourage “public art and site-specific cultural programs,” according to a Thursday press release from the city. 

In a recent Herald profile, Sylvain spoke about the importance of public art in Chicago’s neighborhoods. “It allows more of a voice for my work, and I want to be part of the conversation on the South Side,” she said. “We need to attack community blight and build a sense of self-identity for people who have moved into neighborhoods rather than living there from the start.”

She has been busy painting murals this year, including one on the north side of the Hyde Park Art Center and another at 71st Street and Jeffery Boulevard. 

The program is also part of the city’s INVEST South/West neighborhoods, which aims to allocate funding and resources to revive commercial corridors in ten neighborhoods on the South and West sides.

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