It’s been a minute since we blessed the blog with some Chicago street art so we decided to go on an art adventure in one of our favorite neighborhoods. Chicago is filled with so many vibrant neighborhoods, beautifully decorated in gritty street art, that we tend to take it for granted. We spent the day exploring Chicago’s largest art district: Pilsen.
Pilsen is located on the southwest side of Chicago and is a predominantly Latino neighborhood, mainly of Mexican descent. But you don’t need us to tell you that; you can see the heavy Mexican influence just by setting foot in the area. Pilsen has the most murals and street art in the whole city, stretching from block to block and building to building. OH! And let’s not forget about the bomb ass Mexican restaurants like our favorite, Nuevo Leon!
We first hit up the National Museum of Mexican Art and checked out some of their exhibits–Carmen Parra Suave Patria, Nuestras Historias- Stories of Mexican Identiy from the Permanent Collection, and The House on Mango Street- Artists Interpret Community.
Carmen Parra’s exhibit represents her love for Mexico by using Mexico’s cultural symbolism throughout her pieces. Some common themes you’ll notice are the Catholic imagery, the royal eagle, and the monarch butterfly. Parra’s framing style is aesthetically pleasing and adds a nice edge to her work. The exhibit runs through August 9th, 2015.
The Nuestras Historias exhibit gets deep into Mexico’s past and present culture, as well as stories of Mexican identity throughout North America. The works displayed range from ancient artifacts to modern and contemporary works from both sides of the border. This exhibit is a part of the museums Permanent Collection.
Last but not least, The House on Mango Street exhibit was of course our favorite. For most kids that went to public school in Chicago, The House on Mango Street was one of the required books to read, and from what we noticed, was also a book that us kids actually read and liked. If you’re not familiar with the novel, it is the story of a young girl growing up in a Latino neighborhood of Chicago, as told in a series of short episodes. The exhibit is compilation of work from different artists that cover the same themes from the book on growing up as an inner-city kid: “hope, personal dreams, disillusionment, family, community, home, identity, relationships, gender roles, and coming of age (NMMA site).” Unfortunately this is the only exhibit that does not allow photography. The exhibit will continue until August 23rd, 2015.Afterwards, we hit the streets for some murals, graffiti, and ended our day with some Mexican food. The National Museum of Mexican Art is open Tue-Sun, 10AM-5PM; FREE ADMISSION! Photography by Us!
Rebecca & Ariel