PRIDE 2019: Chicago artists aim to paint LGBTQ murals across the city, spark conversations about culture

CHICAGO (WLS) -- Chicago artists, Sam Kirk, Andy Bellomo and Sandra Antongiorgi are hoping to create conversation about the LGBTQ community across the city - and they want to do it one mural at a time.

"We often look at other people or other icons as what we can become, right? If we don't see that, then how do we know that it's an option?" Kirk said.

The trio wants to create an entire series of LGTBQ murals in Chicago. The first was painted in the fall of 2018. It's called, 'The Love I Vibrate.'

"We chose to do a piece with a central figure being, Kiam Marcelo Junio, who's a non-binary artist and sort of like a peace maker. A beautiful individual and it's representational of our community," Antongiorgi said.

The mural is showcased on the largest wall on the Howard Brown Health Center in Boystown.

But the other murals the artists plan to paint won't just be on the North Side.

"It's great to have it (the mural) in a central community like Boystown. It's important to have it here," Antongiorgi said.

"But we live everywhere," Kirk added. "You know, I grew up on the South Side of Chicago. I live on the West Side now and I would love to see more representation of the LGBTQ community in other parts of the city."

The artists believe adding these murals in different parts of the city will allow more people to talk about the LGBTQ community and start to learn about its culture.

"Using public art to create visibility and open a dialogue is a powerful tool," Bellomo said.

The three aren't sure where the next mural will be just yet, but as they continue to get the funding and logistics together, they're keeping their primary focus in mind.

"The more that we put up public art and help start those conversations, the more we will be seen as just part of communities," Kirk said.
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