Calling itself “The Most Instagrammable Alley in Chicago,” The 12 brings art into the alley of the Tri-Taylor neighborhood. Named for its zip code, The 12 is a housing development built by Home& where each unit has an artist-painted garage door. The developers reached out to Sara Dulkin, owner of Chicago Truborn gallery, to curate the project and bring on the artists.
The project, located at the 2500 block of West Polk Street, is on former Chicago Public Schools land. In the spirit of giving back, Home& has pledged a $5,000 donation to CPS for each house sold. So far 15 units have been built and their doors are painted with images ranging from cityscapes to a blue-striped cat. Thirty units in total are planned for that location, with another nearby 40-unit development expansion in the works.
The project began last March, allowing people to enjoy these murals on foot or even from their cars without having to step inside a gallery or museum. Nicolas Forte, one of the participating artists, says “it’s always nice to be part of something to give back to Chicago, putting colors out there.”
Dulkin explains, “I do believe it’s the first of its kind in Chicago. I can’t think of anything where developers work with an art gallery to curate a comprehensive experience to go to one area and see this many permanent pieces.”