Chicago Man Turns Potholes Into Art

Jim Bachor fills them with mosaics

By Newser Editors and Wire Services

Posted Jun 13, 2014 5:43 PM CDT

(Newser) – The perfect pothole might not exist for many people—but for mosaic artist Jim Bachor, it's one with a nice oval shape. Bachor began filling those potholes a little more than a year ago, after one in front of his house in Chicago became a hassle. Bachor doesn't just fill them with cement, though. He's turned pothole-filling into a public art project—one with a sense of humor. He fills them with mosaics. "I just think it's fun to add that little bit of spark into (an) issue that people moan about," he says.

With orange cones and vests displaying his last name, Bachor and his helpers look official enough to shut down a street section to work on filling a pothole. Bachor uses the Chicago city flag design in his pothole art, and some versions hold phone numbers to local auto repair shops. His most recent installment north of downtown Chicago—"#21914"—pokes fun at the huge number of potholes that exist in the city. (City officials may be OK with these potholes, but they're not thrilled with Donald Trump's huge sign.)

Jim Bachor removes cheese cloth from a finished art piece that he installed to cover a pothole on a street in Chicago.
Jim Bachor removes cheese cloth from a finished art piece that he installed to cover a pothole on a street in Chicago.   (Stacy Thacker)
Jim Bachor scrapes cement off one of his pothole art pieces.
Jim Bachor scrapes cement off one of his pothole art pieces.   (Stacy Thacker)
Jim Bachor looks over a checklist in his basement to make sure he has all the material he needs to complete a pothole art project.
Jim Bachor looks over a checklist in his basement to make sure he has all the material he needs to complete a pothole art project.   (Stacy Thacker)
Jim Bachor looks at his latest work of art.
Jim Bachor looks at his latest work of art.   (Stacy Thacker)
A pothole filled by Jim Bachor on a street in Chicago is protected by cones until it is ready to be driven on.
A pothole filled by Jim Bachor on a street in Chicago is protected by cones until it is ready to be driven on.   (Stacy Thacker)
Jim Bachor applies a mosaic art piece onto a newly filled pothole.
Jim Bachor applies a mosaic art piece onto a newly filled pothole.   (Stacy Thacker)
Chicago artist Jim Bachor works in his basement placing tiles on his next mosaic art piece.
Chicago artist Jim Bachor works in his basement placing tiles on his next mosaic art piece.   (Stacy Thacker)
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