LITTLE VILLAGE — Four new murals aimed at promoting clean air and highlighting environmental justice are on display in Little Village.
Open Center for the Arts, in partnership with Latinos Progresando and the Nature Conservancy, recently unveiled the artwork as part of the StepOut initiative at 2214 S. Sacramento Ave.
The four muralists are Alma Domínguez, Jay Simon, Miguel Del Real and Holiday Gerry. The artists were given $1,500 grants for artwork which “centers on the relationship between people and nature,” organizers said.
“We are excited to be part of the StepOut project, which uses art to ignite conversations about the importance of clean air and green spaces in our communities,” Omar Magaña, executive director of OPEN, said in a statement. “The murals created by the artists to begin these conversations are breathtaking.”
Latinos Progresando CEO Luis Gutierrez said the initiative was “an opportunity for our community to reflect and heal.
“StepOut makes such an important statement, focusing on art, nature and what’s positive about our communities,” Gutierrez said.
Gerry’s mural, titled “2020,” was inspired by the Amazon rainforest fires last year and land protectors like Artemisa Xakriabá, an Indigenous climate activist.
“The beginning of 2020, it felt like half the world was on fire. There was worldwide wild fires,” Gerry said. “It was really important for me to capture the intensity of these wildfires and call for immediate action for climate justice.”
Gerry was inspired by Brazilian climate activists’ slogan, “Our survival is your survival.”
“We, in the global north, are not immune to consequence of climate change,” Gerry said.
The murals created for the StepOut project will be relocated to a community garden later this summer. North and South Lawndale residents can vote on the artworks’ next location here.
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