Every shopping center needs a "selfie station" where visitors can create a social-media moment. Street mural artist Kelsey Montague made just such a display recently, at Chicago's Yorktown Center: a health-and-wellness-inspired mural done live before shoppers on April 14 and 15.
Strategically situated between Yorktown’s Amazing Lash Studio and European Wax Center tenants, in the center's new, 12,000-square-foot self-care precinct, the mural is intended to serve as a permanent selfie station for the roughly 8.5 million people who visit annually.
“Visitors to destination shopping centers today are looking for more than a quick trip to the store or a dinner out — they want an adventure,” said Najla Kayyem, senior vice president of marketing for Pacific Retail Capital Partners, which operates Yorktown Center. “Incorporating art that doesn’t just beautify the space but that also creates an 'Instagrammable' moment is one of those mini experiences that will delight visitors. We thrive on doing things differently at Yorktown Center and at the various shopping destinations we operate across the country.”
Montague’s street art first gained traction in 2014, when pop music stars Taylor Swift and Vanessa Hudgens took a selfie with her “What Lifts You” wing drawings, in New York City. Since then, her work has been featured at the Smithsonian American Art Museum and in such publications as Forbes, The New York Times and The Wall Street Journal.
“I’ve always been fascinated by how public art, interactive art and social media intersect, and that is what I want to explore in my work,” Montague said in a press release. “I created my first street-art piece in New York City. People immediately responded to the art and the #WhatLiftsYou message. I now get to create street-art pieces around the world. I'm excited to work at the Yorktown Center’s ‘self-care precinct,’ because the purpose of this center is so in line with my work. I want my work to uplift and inspire, and the Yorktown Center's focus on self-care does exactly that."
Yorktown Center is a 1.5 million-square-foot, two-level shopping center with about 150 specialty stores and 20 restaurants. It is located in the heart of Chicago’s western suburbs and is anchored by Carson’s, JCPenney and Von Maur.
By Brannon Boswell