Intercambio Monumental

Title:  Intercambio Monumental

Site:  Farragut High School
2345 S. Christiana, Chicago

Artists:  Marcus Akinlana and Juan Angel Chávez

Community Participants:  Farragut Career Academy students and faculty

Sponsors:  Chicago Public Art Group and Farragut Career Academy

Year:  1995

Scale:  765 square feet

Materials:  Acrylic on shaped plywood panels

Information:  The theme of the mural is the historical and profound interchange between the ancient indigenous nations of Meso-America and Africa. The purpose for selecting this theme was to increase the awareness of the shared cultural legacy and societal similarities between African-Americans and Latino students and faculty at Farragut High School. Latinos and African-Americans compose the two largest ethnic groups at Farragut and it is hoped that the murals and the stories that they tell will help to foster a sense of unity amongst this school community, which has been suffering from ethnic conflict.

Approximately 30 students and 10 faculty members participated in this project under the direction of Akinlana and Chavéz. The students learned mural making process, basic carpentry skills, group dynamics, and little-known, historical data pertaining to the common links in their ancestry.

The students were also shown slide lectures, presentations, and historical videos. They participated in collective reading sessions and preliminary intellectual work necessary to the whole process of mural making. In addition, the artists created a documentary video about this project, that was shot and edited by and with the students of Farragut High School.