Auburn Gresham man turns empty lot into a work of art

December 16, 2011

By Bill Healy

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“What’s gonna happen when I die?” Eddie Harris asks. “What are they gonna do with all my art?”

Harris is 76 years old and he’s got a lifetime’s worth of art at his home.

He’s skilled in many different media – painting, carving and drawing, to start. And he’ll use anything he can find to make his unique style of art: empty milk cartons, glitter, puff paints.

Many of his paintings highlight African-American icons – Ray Charles and Dr. Martin Luther King Jr., for instance. But there are lesser-knowns too – Fred Hampton and Shirley Chisholm.

For Harris, the whole world is a blank canvas.

Auburn Gresham, though, is where he finds his inspiration.

Hang around Harris for even a couple of minutes, and you’re likely to absorb all sorts of wisdom.

Now, for the final story in our series Auburn Gresham, Chicago - Eddie Harris.

Auburn Gresham, Chicago received support from the Chicago Community Trust’s Local Reporting Initiative.