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Mexican Chicago: Photographic Footprints

July 20, 2001 – July 20, 2013

Twenty-six black and white digital panels tell the stories of Mexican Chicago through a montage of old photographs and documents. The display is based on the (2001) Arcadia publication, “Images of America, Mexican Chicago,” by Rita Arias Jirasek and Carlos Tortolero. It utilizes many of the photographs and documents collected throughout the Mexican Community in the Chicago metropolitan area. The main themes are: the Road to Chicago, Community Life, Spiritual Life, Work, Political Activism, Social Activism, and Arts & Culture. A second set of digital panels was created to travel to community-based institutions and organizations across the state of Illinois.

Participating Artists


Rita Arias Jirasek and Linda Xochitl Tortolero

Organizing Institution

Mexican Fine Arts Center Museum

Displayed at

Mexican Fine Arts Center Museum West Wing Gallery

Traveling Exhibition Venues

Blue Island Public Library, IL, Elgin Public Museum, IL, The Smithsonian Folklife Festival, Washington D.C., West Chicago City Museum, Children’s Memorial Hospital, Chicago, Waukegan Public Library, IL, Aurora Public Art Commission, IL, Humboldt Park Library, Chicago. (Travel organized by the Mexican Fine Arts Center