A local screen printer is sharing his life’s work in an exhibit at the Hyde Park Art Center.
“Multiples and Multitudes” showcases artist William Estrada’s multidisciplinary work spanning the last nearly two decades.
“There’s multiple projects being exhibited as part of the exhibition,” Estrada said. “The family portrait project came about from a conversation I was having with my mother about our multiple migrations and moving across the city, across the nation.”
Estrada currently teaches screen printing at UIC but has teaching roots further south as well.
“I believe working at the Hyde Park Art Center as a teaching artist has really guided a lot of the thinking and a lot of the ways that I make with community members and the public,” Estrada said. “So Hyde Park Art Center is one of the best places where I could have my first solo exhibition.”
Estrada now lives in Cicero, and much of his work happens in North Lawndale and Little Village.
“I was really interested in engaging conversations with Black and Brown families, specifically, thinking about how we’re represented, the lack of representation also,” Estrada said. “But also thinking about the rich histories that exist in our neighborhoods.”
And with that, Estrada and his screen printer hit the streets. Unlike other mediums, Estrada said, screen printing is both accessible and affordable.
“Most of these are works that I created in collaboration with others,” Estrada said. “There’s these prints right here that were actually created through the mobile street art cart. These all were created with the intention of the public finishing them off.”
Estrada said the prints he creates are reminiscent of coloring sheets or “Mad Libs.” The public is invited to add to them or to finish them.
In North Lawndale, he said, he’s having conversations with community members around the concept of reclaiming the neighborhood and safe spaces.
“I think I wanted to remind folks that there’s so much beauty and brilliance in Black and Brown neighborhoods,” Estrada said. “We need to invest in it, and we need to support it, and we need to celebrate it so more art can be created in Black and Brown communities.”
“Multiples and Multitudes” is on display at the Hyde Park Art Center through Oct. 29.
Follow Angel Idowu on Twitter: @angelidowu3
Angel Idowu is the JCS Fund of the DuPage Foundation Arts Correspondent.