Earlier this month, Casa Central launched its search for artists to create and install a mural on an interior wall of the Fisher Family Community Center auditorium and last week, it excitedly announced that the project will be executed by Chicago-based artists Jenny Q. of Provoke Culture and Miguel A. Del Real.
Jenny Q. of Provoke Culture, is a Chicago based, Afro-Latina cartoonist, muralist and performer (under the moniker Jenny RaQs). She has helped to bring to life dozens of murals nationally/ internationally and is part of the Provoke Culture team. In her own work, Jenny is passionate about sharing the quirky moments of life, advocating and creating spaces plus much needed imagery for the intergenerational, differently abled, LGBTI BIPOC communities while celebrating the cultures of the world. Her love for illustration is shared via comics within the universe of Quirklyn, which she has crafted through zines and merchandise based on her characters. When she isn’t sketching comics or building piñatas, she can be found designing intricate patterns which highlight her love of culture, food, nature, and the universe.
Miguel A. Del Real illustrates intricate line work contrasted with colorful accents and original designs influenced by calligraphy and indigenous patterns. The signature Del Real style uses depth and layers to show conceptual imagery, line precision, and unique color combinations. As a lifelong native to Chicago, Del Real finds inspiration from diverse cultural design motifs and the global art scene. With a Bachelor of Fine Arts from Northeastern Illinois University and experience as an Educator, Del Real has worked in both public art installation and fine art exhibition. The overall intention behind this body of work is authentic creative expression through unconfined design motifs. Viewers are encouraged to reflect on life as a microcosm amidst a larger universe. Shifting focus from the big picture to observation of details is what gives meaning to this artwork and also reflects the interconnectedness of life and multiple layers to our existence.
“Positioned in the heart of Chicago with breathtaking artistry and talented artists in every direction, we were very fortunate to have received numerous submissions. While the decision was quite challenging given the great work submitted, we are excited to work with Miguel and Jenny. Jenny’s and Miguel’s portfolios are remarkable and exemplify the vision for the Healing IL Mural,” said, Martin R. Castro, President and CEO of Casa Central.
The Healing IL Mural Project at Casa Central is made possible by the Healing Illinois Grant program, which was launched as racial healing initiative led by the Illinois Department of Human Services (IDHS), in partnership with The Chicago Community Trust, designed to distribute $4.5 million in grants to organizations across the state to activate the work of racial healing. The mural intends to reflect unity between the Latino and African American communities, as part of Two-Thirds United, an initiative cofounded by Casa Central and the Chicago Community Trust, and made up of many organizations and leaders from the black and brown communities of Chicago. The mural is scheduled for installation at Casa Central’s Fisher Family Community Center by March 31, 2021.