Local artist Juan Chavez trims back weeds and branches during the Marshfield Courts clean-up on Saturday, July 13.

Marshfield Courts Gets Face-Lift with Help from Local Artist

Published August 8, 2019

The long-neglected Marshfield Courts lot at 1642 W. 35th St., Chicago, received an overhaul and cleanup, thanks to the efforts of McKinley Park neighborhood artist Juan Chavez and sponsor Pabst Blue Ribbon beer. A program of the beer company's community day outreach, the event on July 13 featured a cleanup of the lot and installation of mural artwork, followed by an evening hangout with DJs, food and drink.

"I didn't understand why or how it was abandoned," Chavez said of the City of Chicago-owned lot. "The Marshfield Courts have been sticking out like a sore thumb since I moved to the area 13 years ago." 

Chavez's connection with Vice magazine led to his working with the Pabst Blue Ribbon Easy's Community Day campaign, the source of the event's sponsorship. "It sounded like a great collaboration," Chavez said.

"I really enjoy transforming the use of space for interaction — the way that objects and obstacles are transformed for skateboarding," he said. "The mural at Marshfield Courts is about germination and about calling attention to the space."

The July 13 event included performance by local DJs Sadie Woods and Kody Madro. Chavez said he has a six-month engagement with the Marshfield Courts lot, and he plans to present events there in the future.

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