2 Chicago artists are on a mission to highlight queer artists, activists

Two Chicago artists, Andy Bellomo and Sandra Antongiorgi, are on a mission to highlight the work of queer artists and activists.

Fashion designer Sky Cubacub is one of them.

"My mom and I walked off the elevator and we were just like 'Wow!'," Cubacub said. "It's so exciting."

It's the reaction most of us would have if we saw ourselves painted on a 22-foot long wall.

Cubabub runs a clothing line for people on the full spectrum of gender, size and ability. They're the second person to be highlighted in Bellomo and Antongiorgi's mural series.

"We started off with a mural called 'The Love I Vibrate,' which is located on Howard Brown building in Boystown," Bellomo said.

That was in 2018, it pays homage to Kiam, an artist in the community. Bellomo, Antongiorgi and muralist Sam Kirk designed and painted the initial mural.

"The main idea is that if we make the portraits big, then the issues will be big and people will pay attention in a big way," Bellomo said.

"We come together because we believe in lifting the power of voices that haven't been heard," Antongiogi added. "I believe in the end we're all better for it."

The second mural is called Rebirth, located in Flood's Hall. It's a non-profit space in Hyde Park that supports civic groups, artists and organizers.

Both artists had to do things a little differently in amid COVID-19.

"Whereas Andy and I would have worked together, we had to work separately," Antongiorgi said.

"She had to work at nights until 4 in the morning. I worked weekends - it was a process," Bellomo added.

But their goal stayed the same, to acknowledge and appreciate queer people who are making a difference.