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Chicago artist honoring "Unsung Heroes of Uptown" with art exhibit on CTA bus shelters

See "Unsung Heroes of Uptown" in Chicago bus shelter art exhibit
See "Unsung Heroes of Uptown" in Chicago bus shelter art exhibit 02:12

CHICAGO (CBS) -- You don't have to go to a museum to see art. It's all over Chicago, and that's one of the goals of a new exhibit you might be able to see on your daily commute.

CTA commuters in Uptown might get more than just a ride the next time they hop on a bus, they might also meet an unsung hero of the neighborhood, like Terry Abrahamson, who lives in Uptown, and is an expert on Chicago Blues music.

"Not only an expert, he worked with one of the great legends in the music business, Muddy Waters, and wrote a Grammy Award-winning song – among others – with Muddy Waters" said Hana Bleue Chausette, the artist behind Unsung Heroes of Uptown. "My idea is to tell the stories of people on the streets in the streets."

The exhibit features five portraits displayed at 31 bus shelters, mostly in Uptown. Each features a short written interview, and a QR code to a website with more information.

"I wanted to take art out of what might be considered elitist in the gallery and bring these stories to everyday people," Chausette said.

One of the featured unsung heroes is referred to only as K.

"From the moment I met her, she told me that she had lost her son to gun violence," Chausette said. "I really wanted to know what made this person so positive when I heard that she had lost her son."

Chaussette got the idea after seeing photographs displayed in a bus shelter.

She went to the company that maintains the city's bus shelters, and got three months of free space. Then she went to the city and got a grant to make it happen.

Her goal is to help people overcome the isolation that can come with modern life.

"To connect with people, to feel part of the community, and to realize how remarkable and inspiring people's lives really are," she said. "Everyone around the world has a story to tell, and is very happy to tell it."

The project was inspired by Pulitzer Prize-winning writer, broadcaster, and historian Studs Terkel, who is one of the five people featured in the exhibit, though you might not know it at first glance. Terkel's portrait isn't of his face, but instead features an image of his signature red checkered shirt, blue blazer, and a vintage reel-to-reel tape recorder like he used to record interviews.

Chausette said portraits can be about more than just someone's face. The exhibit runs through Aug. 6.

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