Mar 12th 2021


Chicago Art Department presents Seeds In My Pocket, a collaborative exhibition featuring Pilsen and South Shore artists. This first exhibition, which carries the name of the project, seeks to spark conversation and bring valuable discussion to the rich history of both neighborhoods and their parallel struggles.The project aims not only to encourage the re-learning of sharing physical space but also to create opportunities for healing after a year of civil, social and racial unrest by fostering ongoing cross-cultural communication between Black and Latinx communities. The show features mural installations by Dorian Sylvain, Pablo Serrano, Alma Dominquez, Mateo Zapata, Diana Solis, Kahari Black, Kari Black, Katon Black, Moises Salazar, and Celia Benito,

CAD will host a modified Second Friday Gallery Night, March 12th from 6pm-9pm. We will try to accommodate walk-ins on a first come first serve basis, but visitors are strongly encouraged to make reservations through our Eventbrite page.

As we continue to prioritize the well-being of our visitors and staff alike, face coverings and maintaining a 6ft distance from others outside your group are mandatory. Visitors will be required to sign-in and provide a phone number and email for contact tracing purposes.

You can find the exhibition statement and more information on our website here.

SEEDS IN MY POCKET, March 5th-May 30th, 2020

Photos by ©Sandra Steinbrecher

Seeds In My Pocket Project & Inaugural Exhibition

Root systems grow from a radicle in the center of a seed — they expand fibrously, entangling themselves in their neighbors, their environment. They re-write the source code of the ground — expanding and contracting, combatting and receding; laying a foundation for a habitable ecosystem. Like seeds, the artists in the exhibit Seeds In My Pocket stem from a radical self. A self deeply embedded in dynamic histories and journeys.

The exhibit is a symphony of voices from the Chicago neighborhoods of Pilsen and South Shore. Co-curators and muralists Dorian Sylvain (South Shore) and Pablo Serrano (Pilsen) believe “everything’s game” in an exhibition that showcases the stories and cultures immigrants and migrants carry with them, and supplant, into their new environments. The histories of these neighborhoods are integral to the artwork, and the story being told.

The cultural influence of Black migrants and Mexican immigrants in South Shore and Pilsen are profound and unmistakable. Despite gentrification, white flight, years of marginalization, and the practice of redlining, migrants and immigrants made their mark. They expanded/contracted, and anchored themselves into a new home. Pulling from their own resilience, remembrance, and resistance, migrants and immigrant artists shaped these neighborhoods to reflect their community and collective identity.

The exhibiting artists seek to peel back the layers of history, embody it and in turn leave a permanent historical mark. In a story of deep root ripping (unjust and repeated displacement), Seeds In My Pocket artists bring shadows of the past into the present. They make gestures to reflect, build, and deconstruct the segregated design of Chicago that makes cross-cultural communication difficult. During a year with little community interactivity, the artists create a hopeful community through collaboration among South Shore and Pilsen artists; painters, photographers, writers, musicians, and performers. It is a glimmer and a promise of possibilities with far-reaching implications beyond the respective neighborhoods.

The exhibition reveals a culmination of thoughts drawn from conversations between 10 artists; Dorian Sylvain, Pablo Serrano, Alma Dominquez, Mateo Zapata, Diana Solis, Kahari Black, Kari Black, Katon Black, Moises Salazar, and Celia Benito, about collective and individual migrant/immigrant memories. These thoughts — focused, spiraling, congealing, hierarchical and non-hierarchical — breathe in the paint strokes on the walls and floors, on the collaborative banners hanging from the ceiling. A field of yellow and purple flowers serve as a backdrop, speaking to the rural agricultural roots, Figurative shadows slice the floor, forcing tactility with the past. The viewer snakes in between and around the banners that sway delicately in the space, viewing a continually complicated exhibition of past, present, and future.

Exhibition Statement by CAD Studio Resident Sam Schwindt

2nd Friday Gallery Night Opening (RSVP )
Friday March 12th, 6-9pm
Make a reservation here
Facebook Event Page

To schedule a viewing, please email Carlos Flores at There will be a maximum capacity of four people per appointment. All visitors are required to wear a mask and maintain social distance in the gallery. Stay tuned for announcement of open hours

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