Colorful, Vivid, Powerful.
This week’s travel palette is inspired by the mural, “The Love I Vibrate”, located in the Boystown neighborhood of Chicago. The mural was created in 2018 by Andy Bellomo, Sandra Antongiori, and Sam Kirk. While walking around the city, this mural caught my eye due to its vibrant colors and organic mesmerizing swirls. I’ve had the fortunate pleasure to connect with one of the artists from the mural, Andy Bellomo. This week, I interviewed Andy to help share the story and significance of the mural.
As I continue to build and expand this platform, I want to create a platform that helps share the voices of other creatives, artists, and designers of various backgrounds. During Pride Month, I have been reflecting on how to be a better ally. As an ally, I am proud to use this platform to amplify LGBTQ+ voices and help celebrate queer people of color.
See the interview below to learn more about talented queer POC in our community and how they are taking strides to enhance the culture and landscape of our city and communities. Be sure to check out the end of the interview for a list of several organizations you should check out and support! After the interview, I quickly discuss how the mural inspired my color palette, my finish palette, and showcase the materials featured.
The travel palettes series was created to expand creative horizons and explore the correlation between travel, inspiration, colors, textures, and design.
Interview with Andy Bellomo: Mural “The Love I Vibrate”
Andy Bellomo is a mural artist, visual artist, teacher, and performer here in Chicago. Check out her website, https://www.andybellomo.com, for more info!
How did you get into making murals? What was your journey in becoming a mural artist and visual artist?
I first began creating murals in Chicago in 2008 and worked under a number of different artists in Chicago. I started off as an intern learning painting techniques and styles and then worked up to being an assistant and then eventually leading my own projects. I’ve been a visual artist my whole life but began focusing on creating murals about 12 years ago here in Chicago. Currently, I have my own small business that focuses on creating murals in Chicago and across the country.
How do you think murals have an impact on a neighborhood’s cultural landscape? What does it mean to have this mural noted as the first queer mural in Chicago?
When we have large-scale murals that highlight the lives and success of our LGBTQ community in Chicago, it opens a dialogue for not only the community that the mural lives in but the city at large. Creating a large piece of art makes the conversation large and noticeable. Our goal is to bring attention to the systemic issues that continue to create inequities for queer people, specifically Trans folks, Non-Binary people, Queer Black/Queer Black Trans community members, and queer people of color. We aim to celebrate the folks who are breaking barriers and using art to create social change. Our mural series is the first one in Chicago to be designed to highlight only Queer people, be painted by only Queer People. For us, this just means there are more murals to be painted about our community. We have a long list of queer community members we are aiming to paint as a part of this series. We just finished our second mural in this series called, “Rebirth” and plans to paint two more this summer are underway.
How was the collaborative process in making this mural?
This mural was a collaboration between Andy Bellomo, Sandra Antongiori, and Sam Kirk. We began designing this mural for the Year of Public Art under DCASE. We were awarded a grant for this public art series and completed it in 2018. “The Love I Vibrate”, is depicted on the cover of the book, “Art in Chicago Neighborhoods: Year of Public Art”, a public art book created by the Chicago Department of Cultural Affairs & Special Events (DCASE)/City of Chicago. This was a meaningful and fantastic collaboration and working with two hardworking and talented queer artists was an amazing experience.
This mural is “by queer people, for queer people”. Andy, you had noted this mural also served as an avenue to bring up the conversation of queer communities in Chicago, specifically queer people of color. Can you elaborate on the key message you wanted to portray? How did that message translate visually into the mural?
In Chicago, we are surrounded by thousands of amazingly talented artists, hard-working activists, healers, teachers, leaders, and countless queers who are working tirelessly to bring our community together. As we honor Chicago’s LGBTQ community through public art, we hope to enhance and advance our visibility and create conversation about the layers of queer culture while centering and prioritizing POC community members. This inaugural mural, located at Howard Brown Health Center in Boystown, honors our non-binary community members and features holistic healer and interdisciplinary artist Kiam Marcelo Junio, whose work can be seen at http://www.kiam-marcelo-junio.com. By featuring an actual real-life person who has their own personal story and life, it creates real conversations about people who are non-binary and part of our community.
Are there any organizations or information that you would like to share? Are there any organizations or movements in the Chicago Community that you or your colleagues may be involved in that you would like to share?
Brave Space Alliance: https://www.bravespacealliance.org
Assata’s Daughters: https://www.assatasdaughters.org
Let Us Breath Collective: https://www.letusbreathecollective.com
Howard Brown Health Center: https://howardbrown.org
Black Youth Project 100: https://www.byp100.org
Chicago Freedom School: https://chicagofreedomschool.org
Chicago Community Bond Fund: https://chicagobond.org
So many more!
My readers, I encourage everyone to check out these sites and learn a little bit more about at least two of these organizations. My Chicago folks, trying to find your way to impact and evoke change can be overwhelming, but I encourage you to start local and look to build within your own communities.
This week’s travel palette was inspired by this captivating mural, “The Love I Vibrate”, located in Boystown, Chicago at the Howard Brown Center. The organic sinuous curls create an energetic backdrop for the mural. The various shades of blues, pinks, and purples are paired with illuminated gold metallic elements. The figure in the mural, Kiam Marcelo Junio, provides a captivating pose contoured in shades of blues and purples. The colors extracted from this palette are the vibrant pink, metallic gold, enchanting teal, bold blue, and regal purple. The colors that make up the palette resemble a variation of the Pride Rainbow. The sources of each color are indicated below and then matched with a Pantone color.
PANTONE COLOR MATCHES
The striking mural was translated into this bold, colorful, and invigorating palette. The bold blue, metallic gold, and vibrant pink colors are eye-catching elements in the palette. The regal purple and classic blue-green teal carries the palette through.
The HD Walls Kerala graphic wallcovering and Designtex Angle patterned upholstery create color-blocking and a variety of angles that are similar to the mural. These materials also tie in the metallic gold tones in the palette. The metallic gold Innovations Illumina wallcovering provides a warm and shimmery texture and dimension to the palette. The painted glazed brick, Arto Brick Herb, represents the painted brick in the murals. The pink Camira Sprint upholstery and the purple ArcCom Insight upholstery represent the strong prevalence of pink and purple in the mural. The product info for each material is shown and linked below.
Finish Palette Materials:
1. HD Walls – Kerala – Solstice
2. Maharam – Kvadrat – Divina – 756
3. Arto Bricks – Glazed Brick – Herbs
4. Innovations – Illumina – Gold Dust
5. Designtex – Angle – Beachside
6. ArcCom – Insight – Amethyst
7. Camira – Sprint – Ready
I hope you enjoyed this week’s travel palette inspired by the mural, “The Love I Vibrate”! Stay tuned next week for another palette.
You can check out a previous travel palette that was also inspired by a mural here: Travel Palette: Graffiti Alley – Toronto, Canada