Mural Artist Gabriel Specter

Misericordia Heart of Mercy, home to 600 residents with developmental disabilities, and Misericordia Siblings Association, hosts its annual art event, “Artist in All: Empowerment Through Art,” in the Modern Wing of the Art Institute of Chicago on Wednesday, May 21, 2014.

In attendance this year is an internationally recognized artist: Brooklyn-based Gabriel Specter. A painting by Mr. Specter, made exclusively for “Artist in All” is up for auction along with over 150 pieces of art created by the residents of Misericordia through its Art Therapy, Resource and Developmental Training programs. Artwork includes ceramics, jewelry, objets d’art, paintings, painted furniture and fabrics, photography and printmaking.

Mr. Specter is a mural artist with works featured in New York City, Paris, London, Tokyo, Mexico City, St. Petersburg and even here in Chicago on the side of a building, Upton’s Naturals (2054 West Grand Avenue). When asked what his favorite project to date is, Mr. Specter explains, “I never have one favorite work of art, however I really enjoyed painting the cloud at Upton’s Naturals.”

Where would he like to paint his next mural? “That is a tricky question, but I would love to paint a mural for Misericordia that represents the wonderful enriched lives that the residents and their families are living.”

Mr. Specter’s paintings were commissioned by Miuccia Prada for Prada’s In the Heart of the Multitude project (portraits painted on the walls of the Via Fogazzaro show space in Milan for a fashion show), featured on the fabric in Prada’s Spring/Summer ’14 Collection. The women portrayed in Mr. Specter’s paintings are Chicago’s very own sisters, Rachel and Lauren Besser.

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About Cindy Burns

Currently writing for TCW's 'Woman About Town' column, Cindy Burns covers Chicago's social scene, events, fashion, and interviews women and men who are making a difference in the world. With an M.A. in American History from DePaul University, Ms. Burns is an author, freelance writer, avid reader and researcher. Ms. Burns has spent over 20 years serving on charitable boards and organizations, and currently serves as a member of the Women's Board of the Joffrey Ballet and the Women's Auxiliary Board of the Ronald McDonald House Charities of Chicago. She is also an Honorary Member of the Children's Service Board of Ann & Robert H. Lurie Children's Hospital. When Ms. Burns isn't running around Chicago covering current events, you can find her biking, on the tennis courts, or hiking in a mountainous region of her choice.