Fitzpatrick is an acclaimed mixed-media artist who is based in Chicago, and has completed numerous drawings, collages, and indoor murals. As his first outdoor mural, the newly installed work is titled “Night and Day in the Garden of All Other Ecstasies,” which commemorates artistic director Martha Lavey and her key role in shaping the success of the Steppenwolf company. At 12 feet in height and 76 feet in length, the mural has been digitized by Danny Torres and reprinted on Italian ceramic porcelain tiles.
According to a Chicago Tribune article, Fitzpatrick had a close friendship with Lavey, who prior to her 2017 passing had supported Fitzpatrick in adding live performances to his repertoire.
Attached to the campus’ parking garage, the mural faces north directly adjacent to the new Phase II addition, situated at 1646 N Halsted Street. Designed by Adrian Smith + Gordon Gill Architecture, this near-complete building spans 50,000 square feet and supports a new 400-seat theater in the round. Additional programming includes a two-story atrium lobby, a wine bar and lounge, and a costume shop.
Phase II’s contemporary design involves a unique massing that is anchored by a protruding concrete shell containing the theater space. The surrounding portion of the building involves a glass window wall system, natural light from glass ceilings, white facade paneling, and various setbacks. At the southeast corner by the street is an additional tower feature to further accentuate the frontage.
Phase II is one of three total phases that have been planned for the Lincoln Park campus, totaling at $73 million. The first, now-complete phase consists of the original theater building renovation, along with a new cafe/bar area and a new theater known as 1700 Theater. Once the current second phase wraps up, work will begin on the third and final portion of the campus revamp, which involves accessibility improvements throughout the main theater building, and converting its Upstairs Theater back into rehearsal halls.
While parking can be found within the campus garage, other means of transportation include bus stops for Route 8, which lie at the adjacent 1700 N Halsted. Other bus options include Routes 9 and 72 via a two-minute walk south to North Ave & Clybourn/Halsted. For access to the CTA L, those looking to board Red Line trains will find the North/Clybourn station also a two-minute walk south. Further to the northeast are additional Brown and Purple Line trains at Armitage station.
Norcon has overseen the construction of both the new Phase II theater building and the installation of the mural. A grand opening is slated for the Fall of this year.