'Scorza' public art on display at our Wicker Park coffeebar

Intelligentsia was born in Chicago ​ in 1995.​ ​It was ​in ​the neighborhoods of this city that ​we gr​e​w and buil​t​ coffeebars. Our success, fueled in Chicago, allowed us to reach other great cities as well. We feel indebted to our hometown and it will always be home. We probably won’t build any more shops here, so we wanted to launch this ​shop by giving something back to the community and the city that believed in us from the start. ​

​Each year, ​ Intelligentsia will commission works from local artists for a 92’ x 27’ space on the west-facing wall of this building. The inaugural artwork is Scorza, a digital print adapted from a watercolor painting, by Chicago artist Antonia Contro. This will be in place for 12 months, after ​ ​which​ time​, we’ll ​reveal a new work by another artist.

“Scorza is Italian for bark, or skin. The dual meaning of the word references the literal source material for my painting and alludes to my work becoming a skin of the building. I aimed to create a contrast between the geometry of the building and organic form; between man made and natural. Approaching from the West on Division Street, the viewer will have an almost filmic experience of seeing the piece change form in time, images dissolving and pixelating as one gets nearer.”
– Antonia Contro

​We can’t thank you enough, Chicago.