Waukegan Public Library was awarded a grant from the Waukegan Arts Council to fund a mural on the exterior wall of the library facing Clayton Street in May 2023. A call for submissions was released in July 2023. We were excited and grateful to have received many submissions from Waukegan-based artists. After meeting with artists to discuss their connection to Waukegan, experience, and vision for the project, we are pleased to announce the selected artists are Gaby and Stephanie Escovar.
As a community, we constantly strive to spotlight what makes us unique. This mural represents Waukegan’s diversity, power, creativity and joy. It shares a love of the library, friendship, discovery, and the places that anchor us. We hope that the mural will be a platform for community engagement, support the revitalization of Downtown Waukegan, inspire artists and art lovers alike, and serve as a public statement of the importance of libraries as an inclusive and nurturing space.
Meet the Artists
Gabriela and Stephanie Escovar are a sister duo from Waukegan, IL. Both artists, they often collaborate on creative projects, the latest being this mural. Stephanie and Gaby, along with their two sisters, frequently visited the library growing up, whether to do schoolwork with friends or to spend hours looking through the shelves to find new books to read in their free time. They both credit their time growing up at the library for their love of reading and learning.
Currently, they’re both educators working with students from Kindergarten through High School. Together, as the artist collective Extra Buttons, they hope to continue their artistic pursuits and find creative ways to engage with their communities.
As part of this project, the library has developed ways that you can be involved. There will be opportunities to create inspirational words to add to the mural, help paint, watch and learn from the artists as they paint, share what the mural’s message means to you, or take pictures with the mural and share on social media. Through your involvement you can help the public art movement in Lake County grow.
Check out the programs to the right for ways you can meet our artists, spark your creativity, participate in the making of the mural, leave your mark on the library, and make a positive impact on our community.
Stay tuned for updates and an announcement about our guest mentor for this project.
About Waukegan Arts Council
It is the mission of the Waukegan Arts Council to recognize, support, and promote artists and artistic expression that reflect the diverse experiences, traditions, and perspectives that make our city such a rich and dynamic place to live, work, and create.