Popular muralist claims to have agreement to repaint facade in Chicago

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    Activists and artists are demonstrating today, Monday, July 10, 2017, in front of the former Casa Aztlán social and cultural center in Chicago, Illinois. A popular California muralist told Efe today that he will travel to Chicago to paint murals on the facade of the former social and cultural center of Chicago Casa Aztlán, whose works were erased by the developer who bought the building to make luxury housing.

    A popular California muralist told Efe today that he will travel to Chicago to paint murals on the facade of the former social and cultural center of Chicago Casa Aztlán, whose works were erased by the developer who bought the building to make luxury housing.

    Ray Patlan, who painted the first murals on the facade of Casa Aztlán, told Efe that he had already obtained an agreement with Andrew Ahitow of the real estate company City Pads LLC to work together with artist Robert Valadez “a work of art” On said wall.

    “Yes, I have an agreement with the developer along with master Robert Valadez on the art work after the community met with him and solved some things that had to be discussed,” he told Efe.

    Magda Ramírez Castañeda, leader of the Pilsen Alliance, said that Ahitow was present during today’s meeting willing to allow future artists to give art lessons to young people from the community on the spot.

    However, neither she nor Byron Sigcho, of the Pilsen Alliance, affirmed the existence of an agreement of the owner with Patlan and Valadez, two artists recognized for their mural work in both Chicago and California.

    Patlan, who began his artistic career in Chicago in the 1970s, insisted on his willingness to participate in such artwork on Casa Aztlán’s façade, after the last murals created by Marcos Raya were suddenly erased, suddenly three weeks ago without prior Notice to the community.

    “As someone who helped change the name of Howell Mouse to Casa Aztlán to better reflect the Hispanic presence on 18th Street I would be happy to be able to lead a community effort to put a mural in this building and designate this place as a historic site “Patlan said.

    Nevertheless, the artist Raya affirmed today in front of the old center, that shines a painted facade of gray, that to him it no longer interests to repaint his work there.
    “Do not paint anything there, because the building is no longer owned by the community,” said the muralist before a group of activists and artists.

    On the other hand, Ramírez Castañeda detailed to Efe that the murals inside the first floor of the old Casa Aztlán were already removed and the walls lying down preparing the way to create luxury apartments in the building.

    He added that Ahitow said that “an effort was made” to preserve the interior murals created by Patlan and several young people in 1970 at a cost of $ 75, but the attempt proved unsuccessful.

    The activist said that now there is only a fight against gentrification that threatens to displace more Latinos in this area.

    “We need to keep fighting so they do not take our stay here in Pilsen as they took us to our center,” he concluded.

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