40 años a la esperanza

40 años a la esperanza
August 16, 2019 - March 15, 2020 with a celebratory reception on Tuesday, September 17th from 6:00 to 8:00 pm
Xicágo Gallery

Through the Harrison and Froebel school walk outs and incited activism between 1968 and 1974, mothers, students and community organizers fought to establish Benito Juárez High School in 1977. 40 años a la esperanza honors the 1979 mural A la esperanza designed and painted at Benito Juárez High School 40 years ago. Designed by Malú Ortega and Jimmy Longoria, assisted by artists Salvador Vega, Marcos Raya, and Oscar Moya, A la esperanza was a project by Casa Aztlán and selected by the community to be painted outside of Benito Juárez in the summer of 1979. This exhibition illuminates artist interventions of the historical archives, feminist social documentation of the late ‘70s, and the power of public arts education in La dieciocho. A la esperanza is a time traveling reflection of hope and transformation for Mexican Chicago.   

Gracias a las protestas estudiantiles instigadas en la Escuela Preparatoria Harrison y en la Escuela Froebel, entre 1968 y 1974, madres, estudiantes, y activistas pelearon para establecer en 1977 la Escuela Preparatoria Benito Juárez. 40 años a la esperanza honra el mural A la esperanza, diseñado y pintado en 1979 en la Escuela Preparatoria Benito Juárez hace 40 años. Diseñado por Malú Ortega y Jimmy Longoria, asistidos por los artistas Salvador Vega, Marcos Raya y Oscar Moya, A la esperanza fue un proyecto de mural encargado por Casa Aztlán y seleccionado por la comunidad para ser pintado en el exterior de la Benito Juárez en el verano de 1979. Esta exposición esclarece las intervenciones de archivos históricos, documentación social feminista de fines de los setenta y el poder de la educación pública en las artes por los artistas en La dieciocho. A la esperanza es una reflexión eterna de esperanza y transformación para la comunidad mexicana de Chicago.

Participating Artists: Malú Ortega, Jimmy Longoria, Salvador Vega, Marcos Raya, Oscar Moya, Benito Juarez High School art students led by Nicole Marroquin and Paulina Camacho, Benito Juarez High School comic club led by Elvia Rodriguez Ochoa and Steve Vidal, Chicago Women’s Graphic Collective, Community TV Network, Jim Ferguson, Jose Resendiz, Nicole Marroquin.

Audio descriptions in English for this exhibition are available here; Spanish descriptions are coming soon. These audio descriptions are directional and intended to audio guide the visitor through the gallery from the wall to wall.

Curated by Sarita Hernández

Image: Malú Ortega and Jimmy Longoria. A la esperanza, 1979, mural. A la esperanza mural detail photograph by Malú Ortega.

Funded by:
The Diversifying Art Museum Leadership Initiative, funded by the Walton Family Foundation and the Ford Foundation
The Joyce Foundation
Institute of Museum and Library Services
City of Chicago Department of Cultural Affairs and Special Events
Chicago Park District
Illinois Arts Council

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Additional Programming

Celebrating 40 years of the A la esperanza mural
Monday, September 16, 2019 from 2:30 - 5:00 pm
Benito Juarez Community Academy
outside of the A la esperanza mural on Laflin & 21st St

Through the Harrison and Froebel school walk outs and incited activism between 1968 and 1974, mothers, students and community organizers fought to establish Benito Juárez High School in 1977. The 1979 mural A la esperanza designed and painted at Benito Juárez High School came out of that struggle and still exists 40 years later. Designed by Malú Ortega and Jimmy Longoria, assisted by artists Salvador Vega, Marcos Raya, and Oscar Moya, A la esperanza was a project by Casa Aztlán and selected by the community to be painted outside of Benito Juárez in the summer of 1979. 

We are excited to invite you to the 40th anniversary celebration of the A la esperanza mural outside of Benito Juarez Community Academy's Athletic Center on Laflin and 21st St!

Join us for student led mariachi and drum line performances, a few words by Teresa Fraga, lead organizer for the creation of Benito Juarez school, and Malú Ortega, co-designer of A la esperanza mural, addressing the creation of the school and the mural 40 years later, printmaking with Paulina Camacho, artist and former visual arts teacher at BJCA, comic book in-progress viewing, and an unveiling of a commemorative plaque honoring all the artists who participated in the creation of this public art project.

Light refreshments will be provided thanks to BJCA Culinary Program.

Weather permitting, this event is outside and in front of the mural and wheelchair accessible.

Students are developing a comic book honoring the history of the  A la esperanza mural, please consider donating to this fundraiser for the completion of this project here.

This public program is in collaboration with Benito Juarez Community Academy and National Museum of Mexican Art. Check out the 40 años a la esperanza exhibition honoring the 40th anniversary of the A la esperanza mural at the NMMA open from August 16, 2019 to March 15, 2020.

Friday, August 16, 2019 to Sunday, March 15, 2020