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Culture

New Mural In Fulton Market Celebrates Essential Workers This Labor Day

Colby Smith Colby Smith

New Mural In Fulton Market Celebrates Essential Workers This Labor Day

The tribute portrays four domestic workers local to Chicago.

This Labor Day Weekend, local artist Sam Kirk finished a mural in Fulton Market District in honor of essential workers everywhere with a portrait of four Chicagoan workers. [Featured image:@ iamsamkirk]

The new mural decorates the walls of The Chicago Gallery established in 1973. At the time of its inception, it was the largest art district in the USA. Since then, times have changed, and the gallery has developed into The B_Line art corridor.

Funded by the National Workers Alliance, the new mural features four portraits of real life workers in Chicago who continue to be essential to the thriving city in the midst of a pandemic.

“It’s such an honorable mission and it’s our honor to enable this project in Chicago for them nationally,” The B_Side wrote in a Facebook post. “Together we developed a new mural with South Side native and artist Sam Kirk to serve as a backdrop for this national media campaign weekend—and an ongoing reminder for us all that will last well beyond this holiday weekend.”

The essential workers portrayed in the mural are: Juan Burrell, a Chavez Elementary school lunchroom manager, Carilla Hayden, a USPS Postal Worker, Veronica Sanchez, Leader with the Latino Union of Chicago and Nanny, and Maggie Zylinska, a Domestic Worker.

“I’ve been working some long days prepping for a mural to pay tribute to domestic workers,” artist, Sam Kirk, wrote in a heartfelt Instagram post leading up to the mural’s completion.

“As tired as I was, when I turned off the lights at 3am last night, all I could think about was their stories. The distances they traveled to be here, the obstacles they overcame and careers they left behind in other countries to live in the US, the roles they have in so many of our lives, helping our parents when they are old and our kids when they are young. They are the definition of hard work. I’m honored to celebrate who they are and what they give us.”

“Even though the COVID has been out here and we’ve been in fear of it,” said Juan Burrell, whose portrait was included in the mural. “As essential workers we come out here every day and put our lives and our families’ lives on the line. But we’re still giving good food and good service every day. And I’ll continue to come out here and continue to be on the front lines.”

See more: The ‘Chicagohenge’ Spectacle Will Occur Later This Month