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Jim Bachor, Chicago artist, filling potholes creatively

CHICAGO (AP) -- 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 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," says the Chicago resident, whose work also hangs in galleries. He was first drawn to the ancient art form because of its ability to last.

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. Some versions hold phone numbers to local auto repair shops, while others simply read "POTHOLE." His most recent installment north of downtown Chicago - "(hash)21914" - pokes fun at the huge number of potholes that exist in the city.

While his mosaic art isn't a permanent solution to the city's pothole problem, it's at least a small fix, he says. The city hasn't shut down his project, and some community members have expressed gratitude.

After his first project, one neighbor stopped to thank him. "And then 15 minutes later, he came back with a coffee and a Danish for me," Bachor says, "and so I thought that was really cool."

Gerry Shaheen, a resident of Peoria, Illinois, recently stopped to ask Bachor about his work, as the artist installed a mosaic. He says Bachor and his crew are welcome anytime to fill potholes in his city, one of many hit with an especially large number of the annoying craters after a hard winter.

"I'll pave the way for them," Shaheen said with smirk. "No pun intended."

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hokanut June 14 2014 at 12:04 PM

The union must be really ticked off. That hole was scheduled for 2018. Ten workers just lost a weeks pay when he filled that hole during his ten minute break.

Flag Reply +99 rate up
17 replies
pjtm131 June 14 2014 at 11:24 AM

Surprised he hasn't been arrested yet and demonized by the unions that run the gangster municipal government of the People's Republic of Chicago.

Flag Reply +99 rate up
9 replies
meditate2b June 14 2014 at 11:37 AM

He's probably doing a better job filling the potholes than the temporary hash-ups that are usually done.

Flag Reply +68 rate up
4 replies
runswthscisors40 June 14 2014 at 11:52 AM

The city hasn't shut down his project,........................yet............but they will......they'll want 12 more union workers to fill one pothole,

Flag Reply +59 rate up
3 replies
iluvsugrray June 14 2014 at 12:06 PM

What a creative, awesome guy!

Flag Reply +53 rate up
1 reply
savannahswithgod iluvsugrray June 14 2014 at 2:37 PM

Yes and the next pothole advertisement for a new religion, Spotz! The creator has arrived. All books not dealing with fixing potholes must be burned and any resistance to that must be eradicated. Spotz oh mighty one, offering plate for Spotz here we go empty your pockets or suffer the wrath of Potholes!

Flag Reply +3 rate up
dvosh June 14 2014 at 11:30 AM

Everybody, remember if you can't say something nasty, then you shouldn't say anything at all. You'll always prove yourself a better (man, woman or whatever) through trying your best to make others look bad. Name calling proves wisdom.

Flag Reply +42 rate up
9 replies
bigred8690 June 14 2014 at 12:25 PM

He can't do this! Only overpaid union thugs are allowed to fill potholes ... after they get off their cigarette break.

Flag Reply +33 rate up
3 replies
BoB June 14 2014 at 11:08 AM

won't be long before the mayor shuts him down, project has not credited to Obunghole.

Flag Reply +32 rate up
5 replies
msanbaker June 14 2014 at 11:42 AM

I'm surprised the union members (A holes) have claimed they are being denied overtime.
Wait until winter when the union snow plows ruin his work. Long live Chicago politics.

Flag Reply +16 rate up
5 replies
integr8er June 14 2014 at 11:59 AM

There are so many things that are simply illegal about this, but what is more is I doubt his "repair" lasts more than a few weeks as I doubt he has any re-bar in there, he is probably using bag cement which has way too small aggregate, and unless he cuts the existing pavement back to create a blunt edge the feathering concrete will break up in just a few days. This is a joke.

Flag Reply +13 rate up
46 replies
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