Tag Archives: markelder

Remembering Mireles

Sometimes I go out hunting for a particular mural and come across a different one that I didn’t even know existed.  That happened recently in the neighborhood of South Chicago at 91st and Commercial.

This mural was painted by South Chicago Art Center participants under the direction of Brother Mark Elder, a muralist and professor at DePaul University.  The team spent 2 years creating it, startingin 2007 and completing it in 2009.  


I love how the mural flow across the wall, creating a blend of patterns and figures.  Images include families, street cats and dogs, and a map of the city. 

I believe the figure below is Arnold Mireles, a neighborhood activist who photographed rundown buildings and drug activity and shared the images with police.  In 1997, a local slumlord hired 2 men who shot and killed Mireles for reporting the landlord to city officials.  Mireles was 35.  The men were convicted three years later in a complicated murder-for-hire trial.



The work includes several quotations across the top.  The Ghandi quote seems particularly powerful to me in the context of Mireles’ murder.

  Art washes away from the soul the dust of everyday life   —Pablo Picasso

  Education is the weapon which can change the world  —Nelson Mandela

  Forgiveness is the attitude of the strong  –Ghandi