This series deals with environmental issues of soil contamination. Chicago, with a long history as an industrial city and transportation hub, has significant problems with contamination of top soil, largely with lead (Pb), but also thorium (Th) and arsenic (As). Each of these elements are highly toxic to humans and repeated exposure can cause extremely serious health and developmental problems. To produce this series I researched ten distinct areas within Chicago that suffer high levels of soil contamination and created a mud stencil for each location. Each stencil contains the periodic symbol of the contaminating element and the graphic representation of the neighborhood it is found in. I painted each work of ephemeral graffiti within its corresponding neighborhood using dirt gathered on site. Painted neighborhoods include the Loop (Pb), Pilsen (Pb), Uptown (Pb), Rogers Park (Pb), Avondale (As), Bridgeport (Pb), Bucktown (Pb), Streetersville (Th), Little Village (Pb), and Bronzeville (Pb).
soil and water on walls and walkways