Zeke Peña was born in Las Cruces, New Mexico and was raised in the border city of El Paso, Tejas.
He has exhibited in museums, galleries and non-traditional spaces along the border in both the U.S. and Mexico and works as a freelance painter, designer and curator from his studio in downtown El Paso. His work explores ritual and survival through allegorical and symbolic storytelling and he also makes work using photo/videography, painting, drawing, woodworking and site-specific installation. His visual narratives focus on the people of his community and portray the unique, often strange experience of life in the border desert. His visual sensibility is a hybrid of indigenous, border rasquache, and comic book iconography.
Zeke’s work is based on the idea that visual experience can heal and enlighten: a visual medicine. He hopes that through visual experience the viewer is reconnected to communal emotion and spirit and believes this “re-communion” is itself a radical subversive event that directly affects identity and community.
Michelle West is an Illustrator, painter and Designer who’s focus of work is based upon the female form, psychology, and graffiti. Michelle has been featured in other art shows at the Silver Room, and at Sir and Madame in Chicago.
Tarot by Laura
Laura is a natural psychic and tarotologyst and also enjoys consulting Spanish cards and various oracles. Born in Mexico City, she is very familiar with Mexican folk magick and pagan practices of her native land. A “Bruja” in tune with the cycles of nature and the magick within, she is always willing to help those in need.
Bodega Diez y Ocho
Diez Y Ocho was inspired by the infamous 18th street of the Pilsen Community in Chicago. A community where many generations of families have planted their seeds. 18th street, also known as, “la diez y ocho”, is the street that runs through the heart of it all. Although, Pilsen is now an up and coming community, it was once a community of many immigrant and low income families. Nevertheless, this community has always taken pride in our Mexican culture and showed it through murals and art all throughout our streets. “Diez Y Ocho” is now expressing that art in a different way, through custom handmade purses and bags. Each one is uniquely made and influenced by the inspirations of our Mexican culture, such as Frida Kahlo, Maria Sabina and even favorite childhood memories. “La Catarina”, is translated as, “The Ladybug”.
Jewelry & handcrafts
Eating is for Winners
Gabriela Parra is a Chicago based Chef but her roots are from her hometown Puebla, Mexico. She has had some formal training but her strongest foundation and influence has come from her seven aunts and her Mother. Gabriela specializes in what she calls Mexican comfort food, essentially the food she grew up eating with her family, but recreates it using the Farm to Table ideology.
While her main focus is Mexican food, she is also influenced by many cultures, such as American Northwest, Szechuan, Southeast Asian and Contemporary American. Gabriela is currently working as a Personal Chef & Sous Chef at Hearty Boy Catering. She is also the owner and founder of Eating is for Winners, an event and catering business that has an underground following in Chicago’s Music and Arts communities.
Eco Boutique by Alejandra
Alejandra Araseb was born in Iguala, Guerrero and has lived in Chicago for over two decades. Her family has worked for two generations making cut crystal, silver and gold-handcrafted jewelry. Once in Chicago she decided to follow her family creative tradition and began to explore fashion design and home decorating. But it wasn’t until recently — as a transgender woman — that she decided to start her own business. In pursuit of her family artistic tradition, she began making floral arrangements, curiosities made out of plants and terrariums.
The idea of working and creating art out of living organisms that Mother Earth gives us has always been one of Alejandra’s greatest passions. She has been doing floral arrangements for the last 15 years and last year she started to create small works of art out of plants, called terrariums. These small ecosystems inside crystal containers, help her to promote an ecological culture and philosophy. Each terrarium that Alejandra creates is a unique artistic creation produced with the offspring that mother Earth gives us. Visit Alejandra’s Facebook page.
My passion for design comes from a fulfillment in self expression and creativity. I appreciate the innovative and unique, and try to implement those characteristics in my pieces. I love to breathe new life and reinvent what once was through the re-purposing of used and vintage pieces. It is also important to me to honor our natural resources and create deeper connections to ourselves and our Earth’s elements. I enjoy giving my creations a story all of their own. Archetype Designs was created with a purpose of embracing us all.
Twenty Thou is the project of Nicold Ologundudu. She’s an accessory designer based in Chicago who loves working with her hands and strives to look for unique, funky, cool beads and findings that can make her work stand out. Twenty Thou is her own personal student loan bailout, the story behind the name is that her goal is to sell twenty thousand pieces to pay off her student loans.
GlitterGuts is the bastard child of portraiture, installation art, and event photography. Our aim is to capture the world we live in at its best, the culture, the subcultures, and the counterculture. Find us where people are enjoying themselves.
Hand in Hand Love | Olga Plata
Hand in Hand Love is locally handcrafted and made with love from our hands to yours. Our passion for jewelry, accessory, designs and much more brings together unique and creative pieces that fit your style. We have a variety of world inspired jewelry as well as modern designs. We work with many different materials some being a combination of reclaimed and modern pieces. We seek to offer artistic and quality crafted pieces, each reflecting our passion for beauty and each a piece of art you wear.
Betty Heredia is a Chicago artist whose work ranges in a variety of mediums, from comics to murals. Her most recent exhibitions include Voices & Visions, a group exhibition at the Highland Park Art Center, and a mural installation at Glass Curtain Gallery in Chicago and is also currently working on a series of comics entitled Life Before Death, as well as AutoSpasms. Most recently, her comics have been published in New City and Linework Comics Anthology IV.
No Manches is a socially conscious clothing company from the south side of Chicago that provides original designs to give the Latino community a way to express themselves in a culturally relevant and meaningful way. Clothing built to bridge the gap between generations and to educate others on Latino Culture.
I’m all about the colors, the bolder the better! My life events & cultura come alive through my wearable art. Todo Hecho con Cariño by AngMir. (Facebook page)