The original mural was painted over the day after completion.
In the wake of the early protests that followed the murder of George Floyd, the Mural Movement set about illustrating an art piece that symbolized a unity within communities. Artists came together to create the Black and Brown Unity Wall in Near West Side. The very next day, the mural was painted over. Months later, the Movement was able to recreate the message with a massive mural painted on the Pilsen Vintage and Thrift store.
Vault Gallerie owner, Delilah Martinez, heads the Mural Movement, including the collaboration for the initial unity mural in Near West Side. When found that the mural had been destroyed the following day, Martinez expressed dismay, but steadfast determination:
“Originally we were all hurt but the message still stands,” she wrote on the Vault Gallerie’s website. “We understand the power behind what we do and want to continue to push our message.”
In response to the fate of the first mural, Martinez set up a Go Fund Me page that would go towards the creation of murals across the city of Chicago as well as beautifying neighborhood communities:
“The funds will go to us creating more murals for our communities,” the website reads. “We appreciate everyone’s support and are looking forward to making more murals with message that black and brown people support, love and show up for each other. We will not allow people to divide us. We will continue to create, collaborate and stay unified.”
Over the weekend, a team of 9 artists collaborated on the remake, which now decorates the Pilsen Vintage and Thrift shop on 1430 W 18th Street. The artists involved include Cujo, Dred Ske, Gape One, Milton Coronado, Nikko Washington, RicoChingas, SentRock, Statik, and Tubs.
“This is testament of what collaboration and unity can do,” artist Cujo wrote on his Instagram.
During the creation of the mural, community residents were invited to free tacos courtesy of Taco Sublime and Italian Ice of Carlo’s Italian Ice.
In addition to the latest mural in Pilsen, the Mural Movement is responsible a number of murals inner-city and out-of-state works alike. Earlier this summer, the project oversaw the creation of mural of Vanessa Guillén in Pilsen as well as the Black and Brown Unity Wall 2 on the former Leon’s Bar B Que at 79th Street and Cornell.
Furthermore, the movement made it to Milwaukee, Wisconsin as well as Gary, Indiana.
Those who would like to support the Mural Movement, can donate to their Go Fund Me page, which, in addition to funding artists, their materials, and their families, also supports community engagement programs as well as re-building neighborhoods.
[Featured image: @danny.cantu]