The CTA viaduct at Clark and Benson. (Google Maps image)

A bland CTA Purple Line underpass will soon be turned into a colorful tribute to women’s history in Evanston.

The Evanston Mural Arts Program, which has put up 25 murals over the past five years, is now asking Evanstonians which women, and which historical issues, should be painted on the two Clark Street walls, between Benson and Maple.

Lea Pinsky is executive director of Art Encounter, the arts outreach group that includes the Mural Project in its activities.

She says the group is “trying to reach out to a broad group” of citizens, to make sure that suggestions for the mural will represent a complete and accurate picture of what women have contributed to Evanston history.

“It’s vitally important to get diverse input,” Pinsky adds, “so we can tell the stories of the full makeup of our community.”

This mural is being done in cooperation with the Evanston Women’s History Project, and the Shorefront Legacy Center (which preserves and studies Black history in Evanston and nearby North Shore locations).

Artist Dorian Sylvain.

Muralist Dorian Sylvain is experienced in such community art projects, and will lead a team, appropriately for this mural, of all-female artitsts to do the painting.

Pinsky says the mural will not just be a collection of portraits. While some individual pictures of significant women will likely be included, Pinsky says the walls will also be covered with “themes and areas of influence,” such as, perhaps, education, suffrage, prohibition, civil rights, politics and other subjects that may be suggested.

Sylvain working with a child on a mural project.

To that end, there will be a public input session Saturday at Evanston Township High School, from 11 a.m. until 12:30 p.m.

Bring your ideas.

And if you can’t make it, you can send in your suggestions at the Art Encounter website.

Pinsky says the hope is to have the mural finished by Labor Day.

Jeff Hirsh joined the Evanston Now reporting team in 2020 after a 40-year award-winning career as a broadcast journalist in Cincinnati, Ohio.

Join the Conversation


  1. A mural to honor local women’s contributions is a great idea, but isn’t there a more prominent spot for it? The Clark Street location is hardly a high traffic area.

  2. I love this murals program! It’s brought so many beautiful scenes to Evanston, and the artwork is always so professional and meaningful. Excited to see more!

  3. please consider Ann Jennett for the mural who started and worked for years on job opportunities for evanston youths

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