Matriarchy for a New Millennium

Title:  Matriarchy for a New Millennium

Site:  Gill Park
825 W. Sheridan Road, Chicago

Artists:  Tim Portlock and Beatriz Santiago Muñoz

Community Participants: Sophal Vann, Miguel Feliciano, Steven Feliciano, Jose Noriega, Ismael Noriega, Kenesha Johnson, Fidel Medrano, Rudy Medrano, Fleurial Colon, William Vargas, Lisa Ortiz, Andres Santiago, Laurice Santiago, Victor Avarez, and John Yaou.

Sponsors:  Chicago Public Art Group, Anshe Emet, Chicago Park District, Gallery 37, Gill Park Co-Op, and Uptown Youthnet

Year:  1997

Scale:  20 x 100 feet

Materials:  Acrylic paint on concrete wall

Information:  Painted with area youths on a wall behind the Gill Park fieldhouse, this mural focuses on the impact that gentrification, displacement, and redevelopment are having on the low-income, racially mixed Uptown neighborhood. Issues of particular concern to the art team were police harassment of youths and the lives of single, working mothers. The issues of women’s lives are repeatedly invoked in the work—a reference to the mural painted at the site in 1979--Women’s Equality, by Celia Radek and Cynthia Weiss (on which several of the teen artists’ parents or relatives had worked). Seeking fresh mural imagery, the artists created a series of scenes--a woman returning from her day job to the work of maintaining a household, and then finally treasuring a quiet moment to herself. The mural’s style was influenced by the work of painter David Hockney.