This blog is set up to document the murals in Pilsen. This work is being done by four youth working with Pros Arts Studio: Adrian, Jone, Mike, and Yanira.


Jone Juchneviciute:

Ever since I’ve moved to the states, I was living in two worlds – Lithuania and U.S.A, the past and the present. One meant vacation and fun, while the other was school and boredom. The camera was the missing link between the two worlds. It connected the past with the present and the present with the past. It allowed me to keep the memories that will always remind me of my past. Just like the memories, murals are reminders of the past. I feel that it is very important to repaint and maintain the murals, because they are an important aspect of the past that must never be forgotten. I am honored to participate in this project.

Michael Gonzales

I always saw these murals as a sign of home.  When I was a kid and living in different places with my family we always seemed to come back here.  My grandmother Reyes was the eldest of our family that lived here but she was also the most influential in the neighborhood.  She helped open the high school Benito Juarez, the family center El Valor and in our family she held us together through all our struggles.  Unfortunately, her passing was the hardest on us, on me!  When she died, my mother and father moved us into her house.  Pilsen always made me happy because it meant seeing my family and all of us gathering together for fun and memories.  The murals would always be there for me whenever we visited and now I live in the very center of it all.  All the memories, all the people I’ve met, but whenever I see the murals it it reminds me of the one person who kept our family strong…my grandmother Guadalupe Reyes.  They remind me of her kindness and her constant fight for this neighborhood!  I would like to see those murals redone and see them bring the memory back.  For me, that’s what keeps her alive in my heart.

Yaneira Zarco

Chicago, city of dreams, city of culture, where home is home. In a particular little place in Chicago called Pilsen, where I reside ever since I was little, for me Pilsen is home. Where my dreams began and nothing could feel as safe as Chicago does to me. Whenever I go to visit other places, I always looked forward to the time I knew I’d go home. As I entered my Chicago, the city lights shined from downtown and it gave me this feeling deep inside that said this is home, your home. For that reason I feel its important that we keep this city alive, especially since its changing so much. I would like for people to see who we are, what this little place called Pilsen is about, I want to make sure that people know we were here, that they know how we gave part of ourselves to this community. This is why I want to take part in the mural projects. These murals tell our stories and the history of our people. It is home  and I think that it is important to really protect these murals and do as much as we can to keep them in good conditions. To keep the history alive, for others to see and not forget.

 

Adrian Gonzalez 

At a very young age  I have seen murals around the Chicago land area.  it always interested me how the people were able to make murals,and why they made them. As I grew up, I knew how everything worked, i understood that there was a story behind every mural. Now in the area of pilsen where the murals are most famous for, they are starting to crumble and people show no appreciation towards it by tagging on the murals.  i was interested at the very moment when they told me and my colleagues  that we were going to take photographs of the murals, so people can see the damages of the murals showing  the latino struggle  that they have going through since late 60’s, and is a reminder for us [latinos]. i hope that our message will spread along the community and the area.

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