A Portal Has Opened in West Chicago
A magical portal has opened in West Chicago and the special creatures, known as alebrijes, have begun to spread throughout the community.
The magical creatures known to visit the dreams of people, have been visit West Chicago community partners who've been inspired to create a series of fun community events and art exhibits throughout the community to celebrate the "Year of the Alebrijes" in West Chicago.
This page provides a guide to all the different events and activities occurring throughout West Chicago. Click the buttons below to learn more about the different exhibits and events and where they're located.
Cantigny Park's Alebrijes: Creatures of a Dream World
The “Year of the Alebrijes” in West Chicago is a special celebration to commemorate the art installation, Alebrijes: Creatures of a Dream World, that will be happening at Cantigny Park this summer. This special exhibit will feature over 40 large sculptures of alebrijes creatures placed throughout Cantigny Park that were created by Mexican artists. Some sculptures are as large as 15-feet tall, and each has its own unique story of creation.
This one-of-a-kind installation is made possible through the collaboration of Cantigny Park, the Mexican Cultural Center DuPage, the DuPage Convention & Visitors Bureau, the City of West Chicago, and the National Museum of Mexican Art; and also the sponsorship of the College of DuPage, Telemundo, and the Republic Bank of West Chicago. Please make sure to visit this event in 2022, and take part in the magic that the alebrijes are bringing to the DuPage County region and beyond!
What are Alebrijes?
Alebrijes are imaginary mythical creatures inspired by Mexican folklore made popular by the famous Mexican artist, Pedro Linares, and most recently the Disney movie, Coco. Each year, Mexico celebrates the alebrijes as spirit guides by creating giant paper-mache sculptures and displaying them leading up to the Day of the Dead. This year, they will be included as part of Mexico City’s Day of the Dead parade.
City of West Chicago Proclaims 2022 as the "Year of the Alebrijes"
On Monday, June 20, the City of West Chicago issued a proclamation recognizing 2022 as the 'Year of the Alebrijes' in West Chicago. This special proclamation was issued to recognize the contributions of all the partners, sponsors and artist that made the event at Cantigny Park a success for the DuPage County region.
"Year of the Alebrijes" Community Events & Activities
In addition to the proclamation, the City and several community partners have come together to create a series of special events and activities for community members and visitors to enjoy and learn more about alebrijes as well as the Mexican Culture. This collaboration consists of:
- City of West Chicago
- City of West Chicago's Cultural Arts Commission
- Mexican Cultural Center DuPage
- People Made Visible
- West Chicago Public Library District
- West Chicago Park District
- Western DuPage Chamber of Commerce
- Republic Bank of West Chicago
- West Chicago Fire Protection District
- Fiendsco, LLC
- Healthy West Chicago
- Supermercado Tampico
- Gorditas Lislelena
- West Chicago History Museum
You can view all the events and activities that will be occurring this year by continuing to read below.
Presented by the City of West Chicago. Artwork provided by the Mexican Cultural Center DuPage.
View large-scale murals displayed in the downtown area depicting the preliminary drawings made by each of the six artists that created the sculptures at the Alebrijes: Creatures of a Dream World exhibit at Cantigny Park. Each of these drawings were used as inspiration for their final sculptures at the exhibit. The City chose to honor each of the artist for inspiring the region with their artwork through this installation.
Learn more about the artists by visiting Cantigny Park's website.
Presented by Mexican Cultural Center DuPage and People Made Visible.
Muralist, Juan Chawuk, has returned to West Chicago to create a special mural commemorating the "Year of the Alebrijes" in the community. This special mural will be created and on display at Gallery 200 beginning in June and then will be installed next to Juan's existing mural at Supermercado Tampico at 516 Main Street.
A dedication ceremony will be held during the Mexican Independence Day Celebration on Sunday, September 11 to commemorate the installation of the mural in the community. Stay tuned for more information from the City regarding this community event that will be open to the public.
(UPDATE: 9/10/22) The mural dedication ceremony has been cancelled for September 11, 2022. A date for the dedication will be scheduled at a later time.
Presented by the City of West Chicago and Fiendsco, LLC in partnership with Republic Bank of West Chicago, Gorditas Lislelena, Taqueria Resobado, and the West Chicago Fire Protection District.
Alebrijes x Warhol is a community art installation created by West Chicago artist, Giovanni Arellano, a.k.a. Fiendsco. As part of his installation, Giovanni has painted a series of window throughout the downtown area for viewing. The inspiration behind this work was to create an installation that builds a visual connection between different cultures through the incorporation of the two popular art forms that are the Mexican cultural art form of the alebrijes, and the Western culture art form that is 'Pop-Art'.
Both art forms will be featured in large-scale exhibits in DuPage County from 2022 to 2023 showcasing the cultural diversity that is unique to DuPage County. Visit Cantigny Park's Alebrijes: Creatures of a Dream World in 2022, and visit the Cleve Carney Museum of Art and the McAninch Arts Center art exhibit featuring the artwork of Andy Warhol in 2023.
Presented by the City of West Chicago in partnership with the Healthy West Chicago, the West Chicago Fire Protection District, and the Mexican Cultural Center DuPage.
Multiple spirit animals and alebrijes have escaped from the portal at Gallery 200 and have hidden themselves along the Illinois Prairie Path and through parts of downtown West Chicago. Creatures have been seen from as far as the West Chicago Fire District’s Station #6 to the West Chicago Metra Station. Are you able to find them all? And, most importantly, can you tell which is an alebrije and which is a spirit animal?
Hints: Alebrijes are made up of multiple creatures and have been known to be more well hidden as they're often shy!
Presented by Mexican Cultural Center DuPage and People Made Visible.
Come see where the portal opened, and where all the magic began. The Mexican Cultural Center DuPage is hosting a special exhibit at Gallery 200 called Maquetas & Bocetos: Creatures of a Dream World.
The special exhibit features the original models and drawings that were created as part of the work that will be featured at at Cantigny Park along with different pieces of information about each of the artists.
Parking and admission is free to see the exhibit and Gallery 200 is open regularly on Fridays from 2 p.m. to 6 p.m., and Saturdays from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m.
This exhibit will be open for viewing through September before it moves to other art galleries throughout the country.
Presented by City of West Chicago's Cultural Arts Commission, the City of West Chicago, and the West Chicago Public Library District.
The City of West Chicago's Cultural Arts Commission was presented a vision for a 'WeGo Alebrije', and are in the process of making that vision a reality at the West Chicago Public Library.
You can view the sculpture named "WeGo Amigo" by visiting the West Chicago Public Library's second floor during regular hours. The City would like to thank the volunteers who assisted with the building of the sculpture as well as the West Chicago Public Library District for housing the artwork.