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