Hyde Park Graffiti Museum

By LINDSAY WELBERS
Staff Writer

GrafMuseoThe Hyde Park graffiti wall is one of the last remaining places where aspiring graffiti artists can take their time, hone their skill and put their work on public display.

“It’s a place that really anybody can go and do some public art and express yourself and other people will see it,” Doug Freitag said.
Freitag was one of the first artists to paint on Hyde Park’s graffiti wall almost 20 years ago. The wall is located on the backside of the McMobil site, 1300 E. 53rd St., facing the alley.

Without a public place, like the wall, aspiring graffiti artists who want to take their time have to paint in places like train yards and other out-of-the-way places, where it won’t be seen.

“Graffiti belongs outside in a public place. [Here you can do] something you get to take your time on,” Freitag said.GrafTaag

Artists have been making their mark on Hyde Park’s graffiti wall since the early 1990s. Similar walls used to be more widely available all over the city but in the subsequent decades most have been shut down. Hyde Park’s wall thrived because artists who painted there governed themselves, sought permission from the wall’s owner and remained considerate to its neighbors.

The wall is scheduled to be demolished in November or December of this year, to make way for Vue53, a 13-story retail and rental apartment complex.