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Kohl’s Mural Mosaic, a Chicago-community’s art project

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GLENVIEW — From a distance, the new outdoor mural at Kohl Children’s Museum in Glenview is colorfully vibrant from any angle.

But up close, the large scenery comprised of 2,500 painted tiles comes into view, revealing many Chicago stories.

Through June 2 visitors can see the art piece just before entering the education museum at 2100 Patriot Blvd.

The Mural Mosaic project, which is 10 by 20 feet, was launched in December 2013 as the BMO Harris Bank Magnificent Mile Lights Festival.

Fest-goers, community organizations, BMO employees, local businesses and residents painted small tiles at Chicago’s Pioneer Court on Michigan Avenue.

“It’s amazing how it all comes magically together— one tile, one person,” said Gillian Fraser, head of U.S. sponsorships at BMO Financial Group.

“We’re trying celebrate all the great aspects of Chicago and invite the community to create the mural,” she said.

Along with written messages and small sketches, the panoramic mural depicts several familiar Chicago scenes and people in mostly orange, blue and red hues.

Buckingham Fountain, The Bean, Jazz musicians and the Chicago Skyline were evident, as well as Northwestern University and the city’s professional sports teams.

BMO Harris will donate $1 to the Greater Chicago Food Depository for every mural photo shared through Twitter and Instagram with #BMOMural now thru May 31.

“We hope families and Glenview residents who visit the Museum enjoy learning more about this extraordinary mural,” Fraser said.

Stephanie Bynum, Kohl’s vice president of programs, said the painting met the museum’s mission of encouraging children to learn about themselves through art.

“We’re also a LEED-certified museum with a strong environmental program,” she said, explaining the mural’s informational room was originally a metal shipping container.

“The mural tells such a great story about us. “The colors are so bright, and kids helped make it,” said Glenview resident Carolyn Henderson.

“The BMO Harris Bank Community Art Project is a unique mural that we believe will be a great addition to Kohl Children’s Museum, where families and the Glenview community experience many interactive and hands-on exhibits,” Fraser said.

Offering 17 interactive, hands-on exhibits for children ages birth to 8, Kohl Children’s Museum’s encourages young children to become effective learners through self-directed complex play.

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