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The environment is at the center of new mosaic Pilsen art project

The environment is at the center of new mosaic Pilsen art project
The environment is at the center of new mosaic Pilsen art project 02:19

CHICAGO (CBS) -- In just over a week, new artwork will be unveiled across Chicago.

Everything from sculpture, mosaic work and even a documentary. It will all look different, but each piece is connected by one theme: the environment.

CBS 2's Noel Brennan takes us to a park in Pilsen as a colorful mosaic begins to take shape.

 After weeks of work, this is the part where it all comes together.

"We're starting to install the mosaics and I'm so excited."

Cynthia Weiss is the lead artist, but she can't create a mosaic alone.

"It's like a massive quilt. You need the hands of many people," Weiss said.

Citlalli Trujillo provided the inspiration.

"I am a research assistant for the Fresh Water Lab."

While studying the Chicago River, she stumbled upon Canalport Riverwalk Park in Pilsen.

"Even longtime residents don't really know about this park," Trujillo said.

"Unlikely place in kind of a forgotten park in the middle of an industrial corridor, Sanitary and Ship Canal," Weiss said.

Cynthia met Citlalli and they brought in local artist Delilah Salgado.

"It's a gem, and I feel like it's like a diamond in the rough right now," Salgado said.

Together, they dreamt up plans for a mosaic planter and art wall beside the river.

"The name of the project is called River of Welcome and in Spanish, Rio de Bienvenida," Weiss said. "We wanted to sort of contrast the industrial history with natural history."

This is just one piece of a much larger mosaic of artwork popping up all across the city.

"This is called 'Earth Art Chicago' and all of these art exhibits are engaging environmental issues."

"River of welcome" is one of 12 exhibits grant-funded by the Illinois Science and Energy Innovation Foundation.

"There is power in art to get to people to be gathered together, to meet their community members and to be inspired, especially in the face of an emergency or a calamity such as climate or environmental issues," said Uzma Noormohamed, Program Director, Illinois Science and Energy Innovation Foundation.

The exhibits open in 12 different neighborhoods starting June 3.

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