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Albany Park

New Albany Park Murals Celebrate Neighborhood’s Diverse Leaders With Vibrant Portraits

In addition to the new murals by Chantala Kommanivanh, the North River Commission has added art to the neighborhood from artists Ben Marasco and Ryan Tova Katz.

New portraits of Albany Park community leaders at Lindo Michoacan at 3142 W. Lawrence Ave.
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ALBANY PARK — Lindo Michoacan has new murals celebrating the diversity and resiliency of Albany Park’s community leaders. 

Painted by artist Chantala Kommanivanh, the portraits at the grocery store, 3142 W. Lawrence Ave., depict people like Manmaya Kalikotey, a Bhutanese refugee and entrepreneur farmer at Global Garden farm.

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Portrait of Schantelle Alonzo by Chantala Kommanivanh.

Another person profiled is Schantelle Alonzo, a first-generation Filipina American teenager whose social-justice-influenced art has been featured in the Albany Park Theater Project.

Each of Kommanivanh’s portraits uses visual flourishes to show the person’s personality and history.

In the portrait of Alonzo, there is a sun similar to the one found on the Philippine flag, and she’s holding a book that says “Albany Park Theater Project.”

“Kong is another person I painted. He’s a veteran originally from Lao who immigrated to Albany Park in 1983. He’s got five boys,” Kommanivanh said. “For him, I tried to give him this ancient protector imagery. It sort of gives some background on who he is and where he’s from. I tried to include little vignettes for everyone, to show you who they are.”

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Portrait of Irma Aragon by Chantala Kommanivanh.

For the portrait of Irma Aragon, one of the founders of Israel’s Gifts of Hope, Kommanivanh painted skulls as a reference to Día De Los Muertos and had Aragon hold a portrait of her deceased son.

Aragon formed the organization in honor of her son, Israel Aragon Jr., who was shot and killed in Albany Park in 2016.

The murals were commissioned by the North River Commission and other Albany Park organizations. They were paid for using funds from the Albany Park & Irving Park Special Service Area

The North River Commission has commissioned artists Kommanivanh, Ben Marasco and Ryan Tova Katz to put up art at Lindo Michoacan, 3142 W. Lawrence Ave.; Honore Storage, 3215. W. Lawrence Ave.; and Lawrence Eye Care, 3711 W. Lawrence Ave., to beautify the neighborhood.

There may be additional murals going up before the end of the year, said Carson Poole, a community organizer with the commission.

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Left: Mural at 3706 W. Lawrence Ave. by Ryan Tova Katz. Right: Mural at Honore Storage at 3215. W. Lawrence Ave. by Ben Marasco.

Below are more detailed images of Kommanivanh’s portraits. For more details on the people he painted, click here.

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Portrait of Hee Jung Choi by Chantala Kommanivanh.
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Portrait of Kong by Chantala Kommanivanh.
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Portrait of Manmaya Kalikotey by Chantala Kommanivanh.

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