Joe Mills celebrates the Bank of America Chicago Marathon through art

Best known for his depiction of Chicago landmarks, architecture and neighborhoods, artist Joe Mills creates unique illustrations representative of the Windy City through the use of color and bold lines. Having lived in Chicago for 14 years, Mills’s highly detailed illustrations reflect his hometown pride.

This year, the Bank of America Chicago Marathon is partnering with Mills to bring the 40th anniversary of the race to life through art. He dedicated one full month, from conception to completion, to creating the official 2017 marathon poster. The poster illustration for the race was designed in a 1970s pop art style, bringing to life what the city has to offer, including its diversity and flavorful neighborhoods. The result is a visual keepsake that symbolizes what this world-class event means to the city, runners and spectators alike.

I know what it’s like to participate in this iconic race as a runner and to experience the energy and unity of the city along each mile of the race. It’s one of those events that defines the city.

Joe Mills
Local Chicagoland artist

Mills says he was instantly connected to this project, having run the marathon with his wife, Aimee, in 2004 and 2007.

“Working with the Bank of America Chicago Marathon on this year’s poster has been an amazing opportunity,” Mills said. “I know what it’s like to participate in this iconic race as a runner and to experience the energy and unity of the city along each mile of the race. It’s one of those events that defines the city, whether you’re watching runners prepare on the lakefront or on the sidelines on race day.”

Interestingly enough, the inspiration for much of Mills’s current art stems from when his family moved to Australia for several years. Nostalgia drove him to start creating art focused heavily on Chicago themes and images.

“I wanted to stay connected to the city personally and artistically, so I found myself looking at new ways to represent the city of Chicago and the people,” he said.

During the day, Mills is an elementary art teacher at Spring Brook and Clow Elementary in the Western suburbs. He hopes to instill in his students what he’s learned along the way in his own career – to be creative and curious and to feel empowered to explore and find success.

10/2/2017

 

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