The Artist in Residence program is Magellan Development’s first-of-its-kind building amenity, designed to enhance residents’ lives with in-house performances, lessons and exhibits while also promoting the area’s rich arts culture. The Gallery on Wells continues to encourage the artistic spirit of its residential community by welcoming Luis Ramirez as its inaugural Artist in Residence. Granted the title “Gallery Graffitist” based on his background as a talented pop-art muralist and graffiti artist, Ramirez will join Magellan Development Group’s elite assembly of artists residing at other Magellan-developed high-rise communities.
In exchange for one year of rent-free living in a modern unit at The Gallery on Wells, Ramirez will contribute art in various forms throughout the building, offer private fine art, graffiti or mural lessons to his fellow residents, and host a variety of art events where residents can hone their creative skills.
“As ‘Gallery Graffitist,’ I will try to capture the energy and experience of the surrounding gallery neighborhood and bring it to The Gallery on Wells,” says Ramirez. “The residence has a contemporary, urban feel, and I look forward to my works of art contributing perfectly to the vibe of the building.”
Originally from Caracas, Venezuela, Ramirez moved to Chicago at 13 years of age and took an immediate interest in graffiti. He was drawn to the raw, free and sometimes ambiguous art form that rejects confinement. While a student at the Illinois Institute of Art years later, he expanded his artistic prowess, dabbling in portraiture and abstract expressionism – lessons that he has combined with his love of urban graffiti to create a style that is entirely his own.
As a commercial muralist, he has created large-scale murals and graffiti art around Chicago, including murals at the headquarters of Motorola and a portrait of musician Halsey for Pandora Music. Soon, he will begin work on a five-story mural portrait of Pablo Picasso in the Bridgeport neighborhood. Ramirez has participated in art events and festivals in Mongolia, Miami, Tahiti, New York and Chicago.