Yvvi Atanassov is a second year International student in the Master of Arts Management program who has worked very hard the last six months to add a little flair to the doors around the South Loop. The Arts Corri-Doors Murals project presents doors—garage, side, and service doors that have been transformed into vibrant murals!
What inspired the Corri-Door project? Why doors?
To be honest, doors have always enchanted me, ever since I was little. Growing up in Europe, almost every door I would pass by would be gigantic, very old, and would most likely be made out of wood. Something about the beautiful designs and their heaviness got to me. I have always taken photographs of doors that stand out to me or of ones that directly impact me by their engulfing size. One day a friend of mine asked what do I do with all my door photos from around the world, and I said: “Nothing really, I enjoy looking through them and imagining who lived/lives behind them.” And, sometimes, I have been lucky enough to meet the people who live behind a certain door and they would share their story with me. I would write down these stories and go back to that photo in my collection and recall the moment. My friend suggested creating a blog about them or at least create an Instagram page. Thus, I did. I started posting and soon realized I was not the only #doordork in the universe. I have since been asked to write articles about different cities and their doors. For instance, a carpenter, who specializes in doors, reached out to me once to take ideas from my collection for a new door he was working on. Hence, my door mania never really went away.
What was the biggest challenge you faced curating this project?
Wabash Arts Corri-Doors was a project that came to existence by accident, really. I was lucky enough to meet Neysa Page-Lieberman in a lecture that I attended and while listening to her stories and seeing the murals she curated, I came up with the idea of turning side/garage and service doors into murals. I pitched the idea to her and she gave me the opportunity to realize my dream. To answer the question, turning that idea into a real project was the biggest challenge. For the first month, when I was pitching the project to building owners, all I kept hearing was “no.” However, when the first “yes” came, everything brightened up and, shortly after, I found myself a variety of doors that I would be curating. After putting up my “call for work” and selecting the artists and their designs, the building owners who have shown interest in my project were even more excited to work with me. Therefore, the initial and biggest challenge was convincing the building owners to participate in my project.
Tell us about some of the artists.
All of the artists that I choose were either current CCC students or recent alumni. They were incredibly talented and inspiring artists who jumped right into the opportunity to have a public platform to show their skills and artwork. The artists chosen were: Erik Salgado, Evan Kasle, Megan Troglio, Tara Hamilton, Melanie Vazquez and Lily Cozzens. Evan is the only artist I knew from working on prior projects, and it was incredibly rewarding to have him paint a mural on the Corri-Doors project. Make sure you check out their websites and support their artwork.
Do you plan on expanding the project?
YES, I have already launched the second stage this semester that will interrupt mundane public spaces with challenging and inspiring art. You can submit work to be considered here.
What is the best way to see the doors?
Take a stroll down Wabash Ave and make sure you stumble upon some alleys around and you will be surprised by the artwork you will discover there. Or visit http://wabashartscorridor.org and book a tour that delves deeper into each artist and their motivation behind their doors.