The Colorful Story Behind the Windows: Stone Real Estate Partners with Arts of Life
In our industry, leasing banners are just what you do. It’s standard. When you’re trying to lease retail space in a building, you put a few leasing banners in the windows that might have a nice pattern or bright color on them. They look good, and they get the job done, but nobody would mistake them for a Michelangelo.
Sometimes these banners are placed in very prominent buildings – places that get a lot of exposure and are a part of the cityscape. One of those places is the Wrigley Building. When we started thinking about the leasing banners we were going to put up there, we had an interesting thought. Why not use that exposure for something more than leasing space? What if these banners could add beauty to the building and the street by displaying artwork, and at that, the artwork of a local artist?
It was this thinking that led us to connect the dots between the retail space in three available office buildings and a local artist community. And thus, a program and a partnership was born.
Arts of Life
After reviewing multiple local artists and local art organizations, we found one that resonated with us – Arts of Life. With a studio in Chicago and one in North Shore, the organization is an artist community for adults with intellectual and developmental disabilities. Not only do the artists practice their art in these studios, but they work on their leadership skills too.
“We have hundreds of lineal feet of windows in Downtown Chicago to promote leasing,” David Stone says, “and we can also help a wonderful organization like Arts of Life display its members’ art in new ways.”
Banners are now on display in the retail windows of the Wrigley Building, the Railway Exchange Building, and another on the southeast corner of Randolph and Peoria, featuring paintings by Arts of Life artists. Each is a visual marvel. In “Bricks,” featured in the Randolph & Peoria window, artist Jean Wilson’s use of color is inventive and striking. While in “Crow in the Cornfield,” artist Alex Scott’s use of bold, flat shapes turns a familiar scene into a unique experience.
More of these artists’ works will be popping up all over the city. The organization also has programs for music and performing arts, and partners with galleries and venues around the city to showcase all of the artists’ different works. If you would like to get involved, both studios are always looking for more volunteers. Visit artsoflife.org to find out more.