I Welcome Myself To A New Place

Chicago, IL | 1988

Collaboration with Olivia Gude and Jon Pounds

Much of Akinlana's art is inspired by finding common ground and mutual appreciate among different cultures. I WELCOME MYSELF TO A NEW PLACE is a creation that speaks to the beauty of cultural exchange. The 8000 sq ft acrylic mural is the biggest community-based mural in Chicago, with 102 community residents involved. It is painted between the neighborhoods of Roseland, which is predominantly Black, and Pullman, which is predominantly White. People from both communities came together to paint this mural over a bridge which divides the two neighborhoods. They worked collectively to decide what the themes of this mural would be and unanimously decided that this mural would be about bridging the gaps between the two neighboring communities. The piece depicts people from both communities bringing objects of their beloved heritage to share together and historical imagery tells the history of the Roseland-Pullman communities. Akinlana teamed up with Olivia Gude and Jon Pounds to design this ode to collaboration. It's located at 113th and Cottage Grove Ave, and was commissioned by the Chicago Public Art Group.