Do murals denote a depressed community?

I have a bias about murals: I associate their creation with communities that have declined and are likely to remain in a state of decline. I see them as a classic “lipstick on a pig” move, and can’t think of a single Chicago neighborhood that’s spawned murals after it’s become healthy and stable.

Because of that bias I was surprised to see the announcement from 1st Ward Ald. Proco Joe Moreno‘s office that he and the Wicker Park Bucktown Arts Committee are working on an “Orange Walls Mural” project to bring artist-painted al fresco murals to large blank walls.

Is the murals project a portent of Wicker Park / Bucktown decline, a handout for underemployed hipster artists or something else?

Mural in Bronzeville, Chicago

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