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Chicago artists virtually unveil mural honoring LGBTQ community

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CHICAGO, IL — Chicago artists Andy Bellomo and Sandra Antongiorgi have virtually unveiled a new mural that highlights queer artists of color who use their life's work to improve community well-being and create social change. "Rebirth" is the second of a collaborative mural series representing people who are uplifting the LGBTQ community in unique ways.

"Rebirth" honors Sky Cubacub, founder of Rebirth Garments, a clothing line aimed at creating gender non-conforming wearables and accessories for people on the full spectrum of gender, size and ABILITY. Cubacub, who is a nonbinary queer and disabled Flipinx, creates handmade garments that allow people to confidently express their individuality and identify while feeling comfortable in their own skin.

"This mural is a visual ode to Sky Cubacub who is making groundbreaking change in Chicago's queer community by creating vibrant, customizable fashion that is accessible to all people," Sandra Antongiorgi. "Sky is doing amazing work and we're excited to capture their story and embody their spirit of 'radical visibility' through this mural."

The new mural is on exhibit at Flood's Hall, an independent, volunteer-run nonprofit in Hyde Park dedicated to supporting civic-minded groups, artists and organizers on the South Side. Flood's Hall provided funding for the mural. See a virtual tour of "Rebirth" via Instagram @andybmix and @santongiorgi.

While Antongiorgi and Bellomo collaborated on the mural over several weekends, Brave Space Alliance, which is housed at Flood's Hall, was at work on weekdays creating a food pantry, organizing outreach and fully active in helping communities affected by the COVID-19 pandemic. Brave Space Alliance is the first Black-led,Trans-led LGBTQ Center located on the South Side of Chicago.

"Our goal is to bring attention to the systemic issues that continue to create inequities for queer people, specifically queer people of color, and celebrate the folks who are breaking barriers," said Andy Bellomo. "When agencies like Flood's Hall, Brave Space Alliance, Rebirth Garments and the mission of our projects cross-promote and work toward the same goals, the possibilities extend to true social change. This project was an honor to work on and a significant part of our queer mural series."

About New "Rebirth" Mural

paint, spray paint and non-woven media, 2020

Artists: Andy Bellomo -@andybmix & Sandra Antongiorgi -@santongiorgi

This mural was created with Sky Cubacub's portrait as the central focus surrounded by an explosion of colors, energy and spiritual vibration.

About the Queer Mural Series

The Queer Mural Series started in 2018 with "The Love I Vibrate," ( a mural collaboration between Andy Bellomo, Sandra Antongiorgi and Sam Kirk ). Bellomo and Antongiorgi continued their collaborative spirit by embarking upon the launch of an artistic series deeply rooted in spirituality, vibrancy, flow and social change. The series' mission is to highlight the hard work and activism of Chicago's LGBTQ community by featuring an Artist Activist who uses art to create social change and social justice while uniting the community. The murals elevate those members of the LGBTQ community who are doing the work by literally magnifying the size of their portraits and putting these images in the center of public life.

—From a press release

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