We don’t make a habit of hanging out in dark alleys, but on Saturday it was the place to be. Avondalians celebrated the Chart Outdoor Initiative’s newest murals at the Gimme Change block party. Organizers encouraged attendees to donate their pocket change toward the project, which aims to cover the city’s hidden spaces with works by local artists — starting with Avondale.

We joined families and art lovers who braved the afternoon heat to check out the progress, and we were surprised at how much the project has grown in just a few short months. Ishmael’s black-and-white painting of a woman’s face, which kicked off the project, anchors one end of the alley, while colorful pieces from several more artists cover a big portion of the back wall. Clint Eastwood (a.k.a. Dirty Hairy, sic) will soon take up residence on the wall outside of Lava Salon.

Guests sipped beer and ate Roots ice cream, sticking to the shade in an attempt to keep cool. Surrounded by asphalt and concrete, our efforts were hopeless and we soon escaped into a local watering hole to cool off. Luckily, this art exhibit isn’t going anywhere for a long time.

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