Public art display celebrates Hispanic Heritage with 16 unique doors

ByMarissa N. Isang via WLS logo
Friday, September 29, 2017
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A new public art installation celebrating Hispanic Heritage is coming to the streets of Humboldt Park.

CHICAGO (WLS) -- A new public art installation celebrating Hispanic Heritage is coming to the streets of Humboldt Park.

Sixteen doors on Division Street between Western and California are being transformed as part of a project that's four years in the making.

"So this project is called 'Las Puertas de Paseo Boricua (Puerto Rican Doors)' and it's part of the Year of Public art with the Chicago Cultural Center and it came up about 4 years ago," said artist and curator Sam Kirk.

"This is kind of the Chicago version of the doors in Old San Juan," she said.

Sam Kirk is the artist and curator behind the idea. In selecting the 13 artists to take part, she wanted to make sure several Latin ethnicities were represented.

"So there is a combination of Puerto Rican artists, Mexican, Columbian, Ecuadorian and Costa Rican. All of the doors will celebrate their culture, their identity how they would like to showcase that. They were able to complete it entirely based up themselves to celebrate who they are and also to talk about the different Latin ethnicities and culture that exist with in Chicago," said Kirk.

For Kirk it's more than art. It has helped her learn more about where she came from.

"My doors celebrate my Mexican and Puerto Rican culture. I'm multi-racial," said Kirk. "I grew up with parents that are very American, so my mom being Mexican and Puerto Rican didn't know a lot about our culture and through my work I've been studying that kind of going back and doing some digging to try to learn some of the things she wasn't able to teach us."

When the artwork is complete, plaques will be hung near each door with the artist name, culture and a description of the piece for those who walk by.

"You don't really know what's behind a door, but in most Latin homes you know that there's celebrations and fiestas and thing that go on and I thought this would be a cool way to kind of highlight the different buildings, different families personalities and culture within the neighborhood," said Kirk.

The project is expected to be completed on October 20th.