Savage Smyth lobby mosaic by artist Jim Bachor

Maker Feature: Jim Bachor

Jim Bachor HeadshotChicagoan Jim Bachor is a contemporary artist, applying the ancient technique of mosaic to a modern canvas. From installations in Nike’s Chicago flagship store and the CTA Thorndale Red Line Station, to creatively repairing the city’s worst potholes, Jim’s work is both visually engaging and community focused. He shares insight into the local art scene, as well as the inspiration for the Savage Smyth lobby mosaic.

  • What were your initial thoughts when Savage Smyth approached you with this project?

It was a great opportunity to work on an identity for an emerging venue. I drew upon my branding experience and my art, combining both of my passions.

  • What inspirations did you pull from when creating the Savage Smyth mosaic?

I started with the Savage Smyth branding materials, and from there introduced the concept of a signature to round out the personality. It sparked an idea, so I did some research and ultimately that’s what you see installed in the lobby. It was cool to help sharpen the brand a little bit further.

  • In Chicago, you’re known for your work filling potholes with beautiful mosaic art. Where or how did this concept originate?

I think the project speaks to everyone. There is no exclusion, everyone hates potholes and they create a bonding moment no matter who you are or what city you live in. In that way, I feel it makes my work universal.

  • Can you speak to the collaborative spirit within the local artist scene?

It’s a tough thing to make a living as an artist, especially being a new kid on the block in the fine art community. Artists understand how difficult it is to be recognized for your work. This shared understanding creates a common bond within the art community. Everyone has had similar experiences. It ends up being a collaborative effort to support each other.

  • Do you think it’s important for private event venues such as Savage Smyth to support the local art community?

That is huge! You don’t see that as often. You see restaurants that hang up art to sell as a way to fill space, but Savage Smyth has a pulse on interesting work in the city and engages artists to create something unique. When you take a step back, you have a nice collection of local artists’ work installed into the space. It’s not always easy to get commissions, so it’s reaffirming that Savage Smyth invests in the art community.

To learn more about Jim Bachor and his work, visit his website at:

To support Jim’s Pothole Art Installation Project, visit: