Oct 14th 2022

Seeds In My Pocket

@ Chicago Art Department

1932 S Halsted St, Chicago, IL 60608

Opening Friday, October 14th, from 6PM - 10PM

On view through Monday, November 14th

Seeds In My Pocket, an exhibition that showcases the stories and cultures that people within Chicago neighborhoods carry with them, returns for its second annual exhibition this Friday October 14 from 6-10pm at Chicago Art Department. This year’s iteration centers the rich cultural history of North Lawndale and Little Village and is curated by award-winning multidisciplinary artist, Sam Kirk, and artist, entrepreneur, and founder of Art West, Alexie Young.

The neighborhoods’ complicated histories have always been an underlying point of contention; and this exhibition seeks to shed light on that through the work of eight artists living and working in Little Village and North Lawndale. Artists featured in the exhibition are William Estrada, Dre Rodriquez, Marcus Alleyne, Gerado Duran, James Freeman, Alan Moreno, Andre Rodriguez, and Isaac Ayala.

This annual exhibition at CAD “seeks to peel back the layers of history, embody it, and in turn leave a permanent historical mark.” Through immersive artwork, the artists “make gestures to reflect, build, and deconstruct the segregated design of Chicago that makes cross-cultural communication difficult.”

Once known as the two Lawndales before the 1960’s, North Lawndale and Little Village (South Lawndale), were two adjacent neighborhoods separated by train tracks and differing demographics — North Lawndale became a predominantly Black neighborhood, and Little Village, colloquially known now as La Villita, was predominantly Eastern European and is now Latino.

The two neighborhoods share in common their working class roots, and political organizing. Little Village was the home of Mayor Anton Cermak, whom the major street in Pilsen and Little Village is named after, along with Rudy Lozano, who was pivotal in labor rights and Black and Brown unity efforts, most notably in the election of Harold Washington in 1983. In 1965, Martin Luther King, Jr. brought his campaign to the North for the first time in Chicago and chose to live in North Lawndale in order to highlight housing inequality, which many Black families were facing due to bad housing deals and discrimination from the banks and city resources.

The exhibition will bring forth many important conversations through art, programming, and the cohort’s time together building the exhibition with the curators over the course of several months.

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