Illinois-based artist and art history professor, Teresa Parod, transformed a boring, everyday back alley into a drive-through art museum. This summer, she made the garage doors in the alley behind her house into her canvases. When her neighbors saw how her first mural brightened up the nondescript alley, they began asking Parod to paint their garage doors, too. To date, she has painted eight doors. Each door is custom designed with the owner’s input creating energetic, intriguing scenes in the vibrant colors that are part of her signature style.
Parod is passionate about the power of public art. She has helped bring the magic of color to poorer neighborhoods in Havana, Cuba and New Orleans. Always conscious of creating artwork on a budget, Parod uses donated latex paint and tiles, recycled materials like Mardi Gras beads, plastic milk jugs, and window screens when constructing her murals and installations. Communities get involved, too, assisting in these projects. They help transform their neighborhoods with light, color, and creative energy.
In addition to public art and teaching, Parod also paints on more traditionally-sized canvases, creates collages and sculptures, works with textiles, and even dabbles in performance art.
If you happen to be in Evanston, Illinois, and would like to see her murals in person, they are located in the 2300 alleys between Thayer/Isabella and Thayer/Park. You can drive through the alley and are welcome to take photos and post with the hashtag #TeresaParodPublicArt.
Photos by Lynn McGee and Teresa Parod