West Chicago, Illinois: September 17, 2019 – The City of West Chicago and the West Chicago Cultural Arts Commission are proud to announce the upcoming dedication of a new piece of commissioned public art for the enjoyment and benefit of the community.
Juan Chawuk, internationally acclaimed Mayan artist from Chiapas, Mexico, has created a mural that will be installed on the southwest side of the Supermercado Tampico building at 516 Main Street. This location will provide excellent visibility of the artwork for the countless number of commuters of Metra, as well as for the pedestrian traffic on the walking trail and Main Street.
The artwork was commissioned for West Chicago’s celebration of the Year of the Butterfly, and is intended to convey the strong symbolic connection between Monarch butterfly migration and the migration of diverse immigrant populations that traveled to West Chicago throughout its history, and the opportunity to celebrate One West Chicago through art. Additionally, the mural captures the transformative beauty of butterflies and the need to appreciate and nurture these important pollinators. Since he signed the Mayor’s Monarch Pledge in 2017, Mayor Ruben Pineda has been a vocal supporter of Monarch conservation.
“This piece of art is yet another statement of West Chicago’s strong commitment to the arts, community diversity, citywide beautification, and Monarch conservation,” said Mayor Pineda. “We are grateful to the Ocampo family, owners of Supermercado Tampico, for hosting this installation on their building and for their overall enthusiasm for this project.”
About the Artist
Juan Chawuk’s work is featured in the Galeria MUY, located in San Cristobal de Las Casas, Chiapas Mexico, which states on its website, “One of the handful of internationally acclaimed Mayan artists from Chiapas, Juan Chawuk has developed a unique figurative style in his painting and murals, and, in the last five years, has greatly broadened his practice, which now includes sculpture, performance and photography.” His work has also been exhibited extensively throughout the United States, Mexico, and Europe.
Chawuk is a familiar guest artist at West Chicago’s Gallery 200, a division of People Made Visible, where his large vibrant murals on canvas tarp transform an entire wall. He also collaborates with the Mexican Cultural Center DuPage through its partnership with the National Museum of Mexican Art, and spent time in West Chicago in 2016 working with children and families to create the iconic letters which spell W E S T C H I C A G O, installed at Gallery 200. This year, Chawuk was invited to contribute his talent to a piece of artwork for the upcoming Frida Kahlo exhibition opening in June 2020 at the McAninch Arts Center at College of DuPage.
He has been featured in many area publications as well as appearing as a guest on the Frank Fontana Show on WGN Radio.
“It is exciting to have an artist of Juan’s caliber contributing to our community’s sense of place through this magnificent piece of art,” said Mayor Pineda. “While he has returned to Mexico and will not be joining us for the dedication on October 12th, his connection to West Chicago runs deep and we will look forward to welcoming him back soon.”
The Commission hopes the community comes out to celebrate the dedication of this new piece of public art at Supermercado Tampico, 516 Main Street, on Saturday, October 12, 2019 at 10:00 a.m. Commission Chair Anni Holm will join Mayor Pineda and the Ocampo family in a short program to commemorate the occasion.