One of the country’s oldest outdoor murals covers a storefront on Chicago’s Northwest Side. People who care about the 40-year-old painting are finishing a facelift. The mural restoration is doing more than brightening up a gritty stretch of North Avenue.
Jose Guerrero does make art in his Pilsen studio. In fact, he’s getting ready for a show as we speak. But mostly, Gerrero gives tours of all the murals around the Pilsen neighborhood. It’s because of this that he calls himself an amateur anthropologist.
Jose Guerrero is from San Antonio. His nifty wife Margaret, who doesn’t want to talk, is from Tennessee. She sits in the corner, laughing at our jokes. I’m not sure they’re all that funny, but she’s a good-humored woman, and probably doesn’t need the prompting.
Tuesday millions of Americans will practice democracy as they take to the polls and cast their ballots. But residents of Chicago’s 49th Ward recently got the chance to exercise their democratic bent in a different way.