Yollocali 2017 Mural Zine

Page 1

I L L A C O L L YO S R A E Y 20 S L A R U M F O E N ZI

00 STAFF Vanessa Sanchez Whitney Ross Hananne Hanafi

YOLLOCALLI 2801 S Ridegeway Chicago, IL 60623 Instagram: @Yollocalli Email: Yollocalli@nationalmuseumofmexicanart.org Phone: 773-521-1621

INTERVIEWS Gilberto Sandoval Joseph Josue Mora Karlos Ramirez Andrea Santoyo Rafael Rojas Odalys Pastenes Deborah Garcia

DESIGN+EDIT Sarita Garcia Joseph Josue Mora Vanessa Sanchez


20 YEARS OF YOLLO 20 YEARS OF YOLLO 20 YEARS OF YOLLO 20 YEARS OF YOLLO 20 YEARS OF YOLLO 20 YEARS OF YOLLO 20 YEARS OF YOLLO 20 YEARS OF YOLLO 20 YEARS OF YOLLO 20 Pajaro Cosmico Yollocalli mural students worked the summer of 2013 with guest street artist REMED

Bidi Bidi Bom Bom Yollocalli Youth Interns, Pop Up Shop, posing with their newly buffed wall for their upcoming mural.

Wall of Hope Yollocalli students, along with Chucho created a powerful mural titled, “Wall of Hope” for the local Pilsen organization, San Jose Obrero Mission. The mural displays awareness and commitment to the community.

Through the years 20 years with yollocalli My first mural with Yollocalli was painted on a school bus that was going to travel the city as a mobile library. We started in the fall of 2001 creating drawings and sketches on long sheets of paper taped to the walls of the studio. I stood close to my peers as we felt insecure about our drawings, a little shy to talk to one another, and a little tired and stinky from coming after school. We felt honored when things we drew became a part of the final design. I met teens from Little Village, Pilsen, Back of the Yards, Brighton Park and Cicero. We all came to Yollocalli to make art, and never imagined what more we would gain. When we finished our sketches and got approval, we began to paint in the winter. We were in an old CPS garage near McKinley park with bright lights shining on the bus because we came after school past sunset. At that point not as many students came off-site, but other young artists and myself braved the cold for our favorite instructor, William Estrada. We wore many layers and were served hot chocolate to keep us warm while painting a rainbow like alphabet on the bus. Once completed, I continued to go to Yollocalli to learn more and be surrounded by more amazing artists. I don’t know if the bus is still running or if the painting is slowly chipping away each winter, but I still know many of the other young artists I painted with that winter.


From those cold nights painting and sharing hot chocolate, I became a Yollo from head to toe. This didn’t just happen to me. At every Yollocalli mural and public art program, I see the transformation in other teens and young adults as they paint together side by side, share music playlists and dance along, and take silly photos of one another. By the time the mural is done, Yollocalli is in their hearts and minds. Each mural by Yollocalli tells this story. The final work isn’t just about the paint or the theme, it is about the teens working together, learning from each other, and creating their legacy. As they complete the final touches of the mural they also create a community, family, friendships, and their Yollocalli bond. Imagine 20 years of this? Beautiful, right? This mural zine provides an insight into some of the murals created in the past 20 years through the voices of the artists who helped create them. Since 1997, Yollocalli has been a space for youth to explore their creative interests and thrive as active members of Chicago’s growing creative community. The mural and public art programs are an example of the multitude of ways Yollocalli has helped inspire young people. Thank you to all the Yollos who have helped build this legacy, and to the future Yollocalli students who will continue it. Vanessa Sanchez, former student and current Director of Yollocalli Arts Reach

Bidi Bidi Bom Bom Supermercado Cuauhtemoc 2506 S Kedzie Ave (on 25th) 2014


Pop Up


In the summer of 2014 Yollocalli’s Youth Interns: Gilberto Sandoval, Fatima Garcia, Joseph Josue Mora and Gabriela Ibarra banded together to create the Pop Up Mural Shop. A collective of youth artists creating murals dedicated to the people within the community. “This was the first project where the four of us were not working under a teaching artist. So because of that we were given the liberty of not only painting the mural, but also conceptualizing and designing.” Says Gilberto Sandoval. “For me that was life changing and shaped me as an artist. Until that point I was just an apprentice, but in this situation it was thinking about what we were good at and how can we incorporate it within the mural. I feel a lot of ownership for these murals.”

Remembering Mayahuel Morenos Liquor Store 3724 W 26th Street (at Ridgeway) 2014 Painted by our youth interns, the Pop Up Mural Shop, in the summer of 2014, Remembering Mayahuel is a tribute to the Aztec legend of agave.



Within the three month span the four artists were able to create three large scale murals. “We decided to really think about the concept of the murals - we went along with this serape theme.” “We wanted to identify all of the walls that have been buffed out with different shades of brown paint by the city, either because of gang writing or activity.” Says Joseph, “To me these serape patterns had a conceptualization of not only beautifying the space but also sheltering the space and protecting the space as well as taking the neighborhood back. We also wanted the imagery to illustrate what we as young Mexican-Americans think and our understanding of Mexican imagery.” The first mural created by the Pop Up Mural Shop was a 90 feet by 12 feet wall on the side of a grocery store. “We wanted to show that there is so much more than presidents and eagles on walls. We tried to stay in that round but also push back on traditional murals. “ Says Joseph. “We wanted to add things that were easily recognizable to the neighborhood. We chose something that would not only reference that but be visually accessible to the community. So we used the popculture of Selena Quintanilla.”

Along with Bidi-Bid-Bom-Bom, two other murals came out of that summer. “We took our concept based of off Gabriela’s lithography prints. The idea was to create an image that was reminiscent and a little nostalgic - that’s how Botanica Finca De Adobe came out.” On their last and final mural of that summer they had been assigned to work on a mural for Morenos Liquor Store. “The owners were very sure in having a mural that referenced it being a liquor store. They brought up the idea of having an image of the plant Maguey, from which tequila and mezcal comes from. Fatima brought the realistic aspect to this mural. It was very much led by her. The image of the maguey even came from her sketch book. Within days we finished the mural while eating pizza from Pizza Nova,” says Gilberto. “What I loved so much about these murals was the fact that we grew as artists. I have lots of memories from that summer. I think because it was the first opportunity to develop our design, we were all eager to do this.”

09 Bonita Finca de Adobe Tony’s Fashion 3645 W 26th Street 2014 Our youth interns, the Pop Up Mural Shop, painted Bonita Finca de Adobe

Jessies Flower Shop During the summer of 2015, artists Chris Silva, Anthony Lewellen and 15 Yollocalli youth interns created murals exploring abstraction. “Chris already had an idea using fragmented space and letting the interns fi ll in the gaps,” says Gilberto Sandoval. “He encouraged us to balance out color by making sure there was shape and form. He also encouraged us to personalize our work as a collaborative piece with the rest of the crew.” Gabriela Ibrarra and Gilberto Sandoval worked together on the mural, ‘Jessie’s Flower Shop.’ “We tried to work with the space given and incorporate something that connected us to this piece, even if it was purely abstract.”

2459 S Christiana 2015 This mural was created with 15 youth interns during the summer of 2015 with direction from lead artists Chris Silva and Anthony Lewellen.


“We chose Talavera style tile work.” Talavera tiles are a 17th century style original from Mexico. “The style is super loaded with history from Mexico as well as the Spanish who were influenced by Moorish cultures.” Gabriela and Gilberto both created multiple stencils out of such tile work to replicate onto the wall. “Once we got done with working in this style, Chris, pushed us to be more abstract with our shapes and go for a more talavera-esque pattern.”

Below is Gilberto and Gabriela’s final peice with their talavera pattern like style.


Triple Heart Bypass 2944 W 26th Street 2015 This mural was created with 15 youth interns during the summer of 2015 with direction from lead artist Chris Silva.


Triple Heart


Karlos Ramirez and Andrea Santoyo were also part of the youth intern team with Chris Silva in the summer of 2015. Together, along with other interns, they created their larger and final piece ‘Triple Heart Bypass.’ “Conceptually it was all Chris - shapes and line work. The stencils came from us,” says Karlos. “We did cut the stencils for a week and kept the ones we thought would look good on the mural. After everything was laid out on the wall, we decided which triangle would have a specific stencil.” The artists were meticulously taught how to make precise patterns and puzzle pieces to create large shapes on the wall with tape and paint. “When we chose the colors and shapes we tried to conceptualize the work as abstract. We were practicing creating lines and color blocking,’ says Andrea. “We were working with our mistakes, which later helped us to improvise and improve. Some stencils had triangles but they were actually cat faces.” Taking inspiration from the lead artist, Chris, they took many techniques and mentoring. “We tried to make something that would emulate a lot of colors and places,” says Karlos. “Abstraction to its finest.”

16 “We didn’t want to make anything that was political to Little Village. Conceptually the big idea was an exploration of colors, contrary to the jail.” Karlos explains. The building which the team was assigned to paint is across the street from the Cook County Jail. “We are right across the street from the jail. It’s a just wall of concrete. The biggest concern was wondering how people were going to react,” Andrea says. “We wanted to paint bright colors for people to be stimulated by them in a different way. Especially if that is their daily commute. Rather than a concrete building to look at as they pass by, they could look at our wall,” says Karlos.

Gilberto Sandoval who also worked on the large scale mural shared a similar concept. “While we were painting this piece, people would walk by and ask what we were doing and why. We would reply that it’s just colors,” says Gilberto. “I thought it was impactful that we were panting something extremely different from the other side of the wall. Rather than using Chicano figures, which are things that we love, we wanted to make it different.”

With all our might In the Aztec language Nahuatl, Yollocalli translates to, Home of the Heart. In the summer of 2013 Yollocalli created a mural for their new home, ‘With All Our Might’ with lead artist Chris Silva. “This mural shows the presence of Yollocalli within Little Village,” says Gilberto Sandoval, a former Yollocalli student. “The mural highlighted the building as an announcement to the neighborhood that we exist as a youth art organization and this is who we are.” Joseph Josue Mora, another former Yollocalli student, sees this mural as setting the bar. “The intent of this mural was to set the aesthetic of what Yollo was going to be and how it was different from the already existing Little Village Muralism. We are not the tropes of Mexican art, we are children of color making art about more than our surface.”


With All Our Might 2801 S Ridgeway 2013 With All Our Might was created by our teens with artist Chris Silva in the summer of 2013 on Yollocalli’s new home- the Little Village Boys & Girls Club.


21 “This was totally one of the most organic collaborations I have ever been apart of,” mentions Gilberto. “Chris Silva asked us to paint wherever and whatever, but paint in color. Once he started to get to know us he told us to put our characters in certain places. We collaborated with Rafa and Fedz to create the worms and the yeti on the mural.” Fernando Caldera (Fedz,) Rafael Rojas (Rafa,) Joseph and Gilberto painted their motifs within the architecture of the space. “This really pushed me to learn how to use spray cans. All of it was done with spraying.“

Declaration of Immigration 1401 W 18th Street, Chicago, IL 60608 2009


DECLARATION o Created in 2009 on the original

contemporary exhibit that depicted the

building of Yollocalli, by artist Sal-

experiences and viewpoints within the

vador Jimenez, this mural is a visual

U.S. immigrant communities. “We all had

dedication to all immigrants and al-

individual inputs of how we connected

lies who have stood strong in the face

to the regulations of immigration at

of anti-immigrant rhetoric. Deborah Garcia, a past Yollocalli student, participated in the creation of this mural. “The layout was given to us by Eric J. Garcia and Jimenez based on an exhibition they participated in called Declaration of Immigration at the National Museum of Mexican Art.” In 2008 the NMMA created a

of IMMIGRATION that time when ICE was going into the Pilsen and Little Village neighborhoods. My small section was based on my mother’s past as a ‘coyote’ and her struggle to enter the states.”



Wall of Hope students

people back on their feet. Some of

along with lead artist Jesus “Chu-

them have jobs and this is a place

cho” Rodriguez created a powerful

where they go to in the morning to

mural entitled “Wall of Hope” for

get their breakfast and at night to

the local Pilsen organization, San

shower and sleep and to continue on

Jose Obrero Mission.

their day,” says Rafael Rojas, a pre-




“This mural was done on the San

vious student at Yollocalli who along



with several other student artists


painted this mural. “A lot of it

less shel-

was that these people don’t get at-




ter. Just to


tention, that type of

of struggle. So we were trying to humanize them in a sense.” The wall is covered in images of people who created the mission along with images of homelessness. “With the theme of that organbecause it’s the ‘Wall of Hope’ in the sense that this place gives these men hope. That’s why you can see the words ‘dignity’ and ‘community’ because this is a community to help these people,” says Joseph Josue Mora, another Yollocalli alumnus. “We used the idea of butterflies as a metaphor for transitioning. The process of change from the butterfly would be the same way these people want to transition into a job or a new home.”

“This was my first Yollo class,”

says Joseph Josue Mora. “Chucho was really great at explaining things to me, like how to paint. Before I was interested in photography, but Yollo helped me bridge the gap between the two. For me this mural impacted me in a way that I can make things that are meaningful to other people.”

1856 S Loomis Chicago IL 60608

ization we came up with this mural

Wall of Hope San Jose Obrero Mission



Libertad In the summer of 2008, Yollocal-

“In general, the motive was getting

li Students created the mural “Lib-

prominent figures from our culture,”

ertad” with lead artist Jesus “Chu-

says Rafael Rojas, a Yollocalli stu-

cho” Rodriguez. The mural speaks to

dent who participated in the creation

the youth, the community, and their

of this mural. “We painted ourselves,


using por-



other prominent fig-


traits Frida R o s a

of Kh-


X, and






com- munity,


ures like King

Libertad Barrett Park

2022 W Cermak Jesus “Chucho” Rodriguez 2008

Jr, Cesar Chavez and Ghandi. The

text. “Chucho would encourage us

whole mural is based off the word

to simplify things instead of going

‘liberty.’” Rafael explains, “We

super detailed. He would like vec-

have political activists who fought

torized looks. So we chose patterns

for or represented ‘liberty’ and

and designs for the backgrounds as

we added in our own twist to it

well as simplified corn husks.”

with graffiti lettering and monochromatic coloring.” Chucho, the lead artist, would always dig

push the artists to deeper in meaning and con-


Temple of Bloom

Created in the summer of 2016, this spray painted mural was a collaboration with students and lead artists Gloria “GLOE” Talamantes. “The main idea was to emphasize what the place is known for, Los Globos,” says Odalys Pastenes, a Yollocalli Student. “We wanted to throw in a little of ourselves, so we added trippy things like mushrooms,

our original patterns, tulips and colors that popped out. We also tried to emphasize the night with the moon, since it is a nightlife club. Working with GLOE was a great experience. For me I could connect with her more cause she is a woman and seeing someone like that come this far in the art world is inspiring and impactful. Working on the mural was great.”

Temple of Bloom

Los Globos

60623 Gloria “GLOE” Talamantes


S 2016




Pajaro Cosmico

This mural was painted by Yollo-

says Joseph Josue Mora. “I think he

calli youth & lead artist REMED in the

taught us a lot about design and com-

summer of 2013 through Pilsen’s Art in

position and abstractions. I learned a

Public Places Initiative. “He came in

lot about the rule of thirds. When you

as a visiting artist through the mu-

step back, you can actually see a per-

seum. He has also helped out with the

son drawn out with a third eye,” says

front doors at the Yollocalli build-

Gilberto Sandoval. “He had really good

ing. He taught us how to use spray

hand control and choice of color. It

paint, he was like a master at it,”

was one of the first times I was introduced to creating abstract art.”

Pajaro Cosmico 16th Street Wall

Near Ashland on 16th Street




Las Flores De Las Almas Muertas - 2806 S. Ridgeway, Chicago, IL 60623 - 2017 This mural was completed with guest artist Sentrock and Yollocalli Youth Interns.


Murals of SUMMER 2017 ‘Far Beyond’ was completed with guest artists CHema Skandal, Joseph Mora and Yollocalli Youth Interns on Corkery Elementry. Along ‘Together We Fly Higher’ on the Cardenas Elementry wall and ‘Mother Nature’ on the McCormick Elementry wall.

34 “Sailing to the Home of the Heart,” a youth mural project with Chris Silva, was created with salvaged wood & paint in the summer of 2012.

Led by Newark -based street artist Lunar New Year, this mural was painted in the summer of 2014.

Created in the summer of 2011, our teens and guest artist Chucho, the ‘Reach for Peace’ mural promotes peace & solidarity in Pilsen and surrounding communities.


murals of yollocalli

In the spring of 2016, a select group of street art students helped Sentrock complete this mural in Pilsen (just a few blocks from our mothership, the National Museum of Mexican Art).

Gabrielle Villa - 2005 - Dvorak Park - Yollocalli youth created the mural in the field house, entitled “Unity,� to reflect the community and liveliness of the Pilsen neighborhood.

Rauner House YMCA Mural - Gabriel Villa and Ricardo Santos Hernandez - 2007 - YMCA

Honesty, Respect, Caring, Responsibility - Robert Valadez and Ricardo Santos Hernandez 2006 - YMCA

Festival of Mexico and Latin America - Nettlehorst Elementary School Alejandro Medina, Gabriel Villa, Leo Ruiz and Jose Luis Gutierrez - Festivals of Mexico and Latin America is a mural depicting festivals, celebrations and every day scenes of Mexico and Latin America, created by NMMA education department and Yollocalli Arts Reach.

In 2013 elementary students learned about mural making with CHema Skandal (and assistant Joseph Mora) while painting loteria-inspired images.

Revival and the Struggle Ricardo Santos and Salvador Jimenez - Check out our multi-media mural “Revival and the Struggle� at the Rauner YMCA. It was created by teens in 2008 to advocate for more healthy and active lifestyles.

Check out more murals at: http://bit.ly/yollomurals

Issuu converts static files into: digital portfolios, online yearbooks, online catalogs, digital photo albums and more. Sign up and create your flipbook.