One features giant yellow flowers.
Chicago’s murals & mosaics
Part of a series on public art in the city and suburbs. More murals are added every week.
Another bears the image of a local dog.
One shows a house — Parod’s.
There’s our solar system, too, and a magical yard.
Expect more, too, says Parod, 62, who teaches art history at Oakton Community College and also is planning to do a mosaic in Cuba, her second there, in March.
“I have a waiting list,” Parod says. “I’ll do ‘em as long as people keep asking me.”
She hopes others pick up on the garage-door murals and that it “becomes a fad.”
The idea originated in part from her work a year ago in Cuba. An artist there “covered his yard with mosaics and sculptures” that eventually extended into the community, she says.
“It totally transformed the neighborhood,” Parod says. “I thought: How cool is that.”
Also, her son complained that “nobody ever sees your paintings.”
So she decided to transform her alley from “just wasted space” into a drive-through or walk-through gallery.
She started in July and stopped when the weather got cold, using ordinary house paint and brushes, not spray paint, which muralists often use.
“I approach it more like a canvas painting,” she says.
She did most of the murals in the east-west alley behind homes on Thayer Street and Isabella Street from Walnut Avenue to McDaniel Avenue.
“I painted mine, and neighbors asked for them,” Parod says. “I plan to do more. I would like to do our entire alley. I may do some in Chicago.”
Parod, who had help from others including a niece, says she likes having people discover her hidden works of art.
“My husband took out the garbage and saw a family taking pictures of the alley,” she says. “That made me feel good.
“My biggest compliment came when I was working on the last mural . . . The garbage truck came by and stopped. Several people were helping me. One of the workers said, ‘Who is Teresa?’ They had just been working in my alley and saw my name” on the murals.
“I would love if other people painted their garages,” she says. “Alleys are largely ugly and a wasted space.”
She likes using garage doors as her canvas.
“I like the size,” she says. “Large — but not so large that I need a ladder.”
Click on the map below for a selection of Chicago-area murals