Art galleries highlight Mexican talent, culture

September 26, 2011 (CHICAGO)

As part of Hispanic Heritage Month, ABC7's Theresa Gutierrez visited those galleries which showcase Mexican talents and culture.

Lincoln Park resident Tete de Gerolami turned her home at 2000 N. Orleans St. into a gallery to celebrate the art of her native Mexico.

After her daughters left for college she thought of selling the home, but decided it would be the perfect space to express her lifelong passion. In May, she opened Casa Aviles Art Gallery and Cultural Space.

"I live in a beautiful space surrounded by beautiful art, and I have an opportunity to share it with people," she said. "It was very important because I always wanted to show the other side of my state, Sinaloa."

The 19th century home with its tall windows, high ceilings and ample space makes a great venue for the current exhibition, Rina Lazo and Arturo Garicia-Bustos: Muralism on paper.

"These are a collection of prints by the students of Diego Rivera and Frieda Khalo. It is being well received in Chicago," said de Gerolami. "I would like to invite emerging artists or established artists to use the space."

Israel Hernandez says he opened Prospectus Art Gallery in 1991 in Pilsen because he wanted to bring the true Mexico here for the people.

"I wanted something positive for this community, especially for young people, to focus into the arts," said Israel Hernandez, founder of Prospectus Art. "We are imposes our presence into the community."

Hernandez says he wanted to give residents who normally would not have access to a museum or gallery the opportunity to experience the work of some of Chicago's famous artists.

De Girolami and Hernandez have used their own money to open and fund their galleries. They say it has been a costly venture but well worth it, and they encourage others to follow their dreams.

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