Silvia Gonzalez is a multi-disciplinary artist, cultural worker, and educator in Chicago actively participating in spaces where collective wellness takes on critical dialogue, art making, and community building. Her visual and audio work are a ballad to nostalgia--the borderline between myth and memory. Silvia has curated and facilitated workshops to address structures of power, imagination, play, confinement, and freedom. Her work has been exhibited at The National Mexican Museum of Art, Woman Made Gallery, Hyde Park Art Center, ACRE, and local grassroots art spaces. She is a member of the Chicago ACT Collective, Multiuso, and the 96 ACRES Project. As an organizer for the group POC (People of Color) Artist Space, she connects artists of color from across Chicago to resources through meet-ups and development opportunities. Silvia Gonzalez went to the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign and received degrees in Photography and Art Education. She has a master’s from The School of the Art Institute of Chicago where she wrote a thesis on the work done with The 96 Acres Project. She was awarded with the 3Arts Make A Wave Award in 2018 and the CAC + OtherPeoplesPixels Maker Grant in 2020.
Image: Silvia Gonzalez, Chicago Series: Black Panthers, (2021). Dimensions 11x14 inches.
The Chicago Series is like a love letter to the justice work, healing, and cultural brilliance of our city. It stems from my own learning as a result of grassroots political education, daily personal reflections/relationships to people and places, as well as the ways in which community builds and heals. When I visited the Westside Justice Center here in Chicago, I had an opportunity to learn directly from a Black Panther organizer and view the resources that were available there which included a 50 year retrospective exhibit of images, the work of Emory Douglas and the Black Panther newspaper. I wanted to create a piece that honored the work they developed to feed young people by providing meals as part of their 10 point program.