El Abrazo Mural

Apprenticeship Flyer_LG

Fill out the form below to let us know what you want to see on the mural!
Applications for paid apprenticeship are now open!

Apply now!

The mural team is now looking to complete phase two of  “El Abrazo” on the building next-door. We are looking for another set of apprentices that are ready to learn and create with us this summer. This is a paid opportunity for youth who are hard-working team players, quick learners, and passionate about arts. The highest consideration will be given to those who are located near the mural and have a desire to work within the community.

Eligibility requirements

  • Submit this application and complete an interview with the mural team
  •  Youth Ages 16+
  • Physically able to lift and carry material, climbing ladders, paint large surfaces, and working outside
  •  Be present and on time for the entire project duration, including the mural related events
  • Have easy access or reliable transportation to and from the garden

APPLICATIONS DEADLINE: May 30, 2019 before Midnight

Location: El Paseo Community Garden, 944 W. 21st St. Chicago IL
Project dates: 4 weeks (full-time), June 16th – July 16th
Lead Artist Team: Diana Solis, Eric J. Garcia, Katia Perez-Fuentes
Contact: elpaseo.communitygarden@neighbor-space.org

Interviews scheduled for June 1st-2nd at the garden | Position notifications the week of June 9th

Design Comment Form

Fill out the form below to let us know what you want to see on the mural!
Stay tuned for our Community Design Day and Community Paint day!




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El Abrazo: Phase I

This public art project titled “El Abrazo” was initiated by the directors of El Paseo Community Garden who envisioned a community-driven, colossal mural along El Paseo. Paula and Antonio Acevedo assembled the team of local Pilsen artists – Eric J. Garcia, Diana Solís , and Katia Pérez Fuentes. The artists were  selected as recipients for the Department of Cultural Affairs and Special Events’ (DCASE) 2017 Year of Public Art 50×50 Neighborhood Arts Project Grant with a matching grant from the 25th Ward. Five teenage apprentices were also hired to join the multi-generational mural team with additional funding from Country Financial (Jasmin Martinez, Natalie Alicea, Natalie Aparicio, Jocelyn Tlapa, Yazmin Jimenez).

The design process was community driven and included three open house style meetings with local residents. Neighbors offered the concepts of immigration, migration, borders, environment, agriculture, local histories (specifically the garden site), and lost murals of Pilsen. “El Abrazo”, translating to “The Embrace, was named with an overall three phase design in mind which would ultimately depict a mirrored outstretched arm embracing the garden’s portion of the El Paseo trail. The mural describes Pilsen’s story, depicting some of its significant buildings and honoring its fallen murals in the gold outlines on the arm. On a sunny day or before sunset is when you can see the gold outlines shimmering at their best.

 The finalized design was presented at a project kick-off event hosted at the garden where documentaries about Pilsen were projected, including WTTW’s My Neighborhood: Pilsen. The painting process lasted three months and included a community paint day with over 100 volunteers of all ages. A dedication event was hosted in conjunction with El Paseo’s annual Harvest Festival as part of the 15th annual Pilsen Open Studios art walk. The community celebration included several dance performances and honored the collaborative efforts between artists and community members.