30 Years of Inspiring Young Artists 

After dedicating nearly three decades to inspiring future artists in Chicago, After School Matters’ Glass Mosaic and Mural programs instructor Mirtes Zwierzynski has retired. Throughout Mirtes’ long and illustrious career, she has left an indelible mark on countless young people, instilling a deep appreciation for creativity, self-expression, and the power of the arts. 

You can’t walk into any ASM building without seeing the bright, swirling colors of the mosaic art that Mirtes created alongside Chicago teens. At least nine mosaics decorate the Gallery 37 building located in downtown Chicago. Several others cover the walls of ASM’s two other flagship locations, the Michael and Karyn Lutz Center in Belmont Cragin and the ASM at Gately Park building on the South Side.  

Mirtes is a professional visual artist and arts educator, creating public works of art not only for ASM; but all across the city. Her mosaic murals beautify schools around Chicago and the suburbs. Two of her largest projects are murals on the underpass of 57th Street and Jean Baptiste Point DuSable Lake Shore Drive (which took about seven years to complete) and on the underpass of Ohio Street and Jean Baptiste Point DuSable Lake Shore Drive. Mirtes also created murals for Cook County Hospital and the Children’s Hospital at the University of Illinois.  

ASM, the arts community, and beyond are grateful for the three decades of unwavering dedication, passion, and expertise that Mirtes has shared. Her retirement serves as a reminder of the lasting impact that ASM instructors have on their teens and their profound influence within the world of art and culture. 

Thank you, Mirtes, for dedicating your career to creating a more beautiful world and inspiring the next generation of artists!