Al-Qawi Tazal Nanavati’s art is an amalgamation of printmaking, painting and photo. It is heavily drawn from her belief in Islam along with the meditative and repetitive nature of prayer. She also dabbles in curation and teaching as a way to improve her practice and enhance her understanding. Al-Qawi is from Mumbai, India and she recently graduated from the School of the Art Institute of Chicago with a Bachelor of Fine Arts in Studio.
She has been teaching art to Muslim communities around Illinois for the past 4 years and continues to do so. She has had her artwork displayed in the Peggy Notebaert Museum, the South Side Community Art Center, the Sullivan Gallery at the School of the Art Institute of Chicago, among other places. Al-Qawi also received the Abraham Lincoln Award for Civic Engagement and Academic excellence in the State of Illinois. Her aim is to educate people on the importance of art and how it’s a bridge for peaceful coexistence.
B’Rael Ali Thunder
Richard M. Daley Library
B’Rael Ali Thunder is a painter, poet, dancer and curator from the South Side of Chicago. His visual artwork draws from rhythm and dance. With detail and compositions designed from the figurative image of the dancer, he composes narratives that describe the African American experience, largely addressing identity and value. Dance is the physical cultivation of the spirit through mental release and rhythmic process. Both historically and presently, dance is a large part of African and African American culture, being used for ritual, ceremonial, and social purposes. B’Rael’s practice conveys narratives that connect history with the contemporary moment.
He received his Bachelor of Fine Arts degree from Southern Illinois University of Carbondale in Painting and Drawing, minoring in Art History with a strong emphasis on Art Education. B’Rael graduated with the “Drum Major for Social Justice Award”, “Campus and Community Award” and the “Rickert-Ziebold Award” for his thesis series “Blood on the Leaves”
B’Rael’s artwork and poetry serves as a form of education, displaying the lessons and philosophies learned from mediation and other spiritual practices such as IFA, Buddhism, Egyptology and Christianity as well as philosophies learned from growing up on the South Side of Chicago.
Art is his language, and his way of creating solutions for the problems of today as well as a way of displaying the richness of culture. B’Rael is currently a Resident Artist/ Curator at the Hunter International Gallery, and a member of the National Youth Art Movement Against Gun violence.
Little Village Library
Ricardo Gonzalez is a Mexican-American mix-media artist from the Midwest. His artwork explores Chicano culture, identity, celebration, and popular iconography primarily through illustration, murals, and comic books. Making use of a wide variety of materials and found objects, Ricardo’s artworks often include acrylic paint, paper, pen, ink, canvas, cornhusk, sombrero, serape, bandana, newspapers, and more. As a kid, Ricardo was drawn to art out of a natural curiosity and fascination for comic books and cartoons, which continues to be his passion, and his vehicle for reflecting cultura.
In 2005, Ricardo attended the American Academy of Art and received his BFA in Illustration. He taught painting and cartooning as a part-time job from 2005-2008, eventually dedicating himself to teaching art and practicing art full time through mural projects and exhibitions. Ricardo’s experimentation and drive earned him a full ride fellowship to Kendall College of Art and Design, where he completed his MFA in painting in the spring of 2016.
Chicago Lawn Library
William Camargo is a photographer and arts educator living in Chicago. William focuses on teaching youth about the power of photography in communities of color. He is currently working on a book that will feature photographers of color across the country working on social justice issues, entitled The New American Photographer.
William has lectured on photography at Cal State Long Beach, Cal State Fullerton, ACRE Projects, Gallery 400, and the University of Wisconsin-Parkside. His lectures explore archiving family narratives, specifically from Mexican immigrants and Chicano art history.
His work has been featured in Time Magazine, Business Insider, The Wall Street Journal and more. Additionally, his artwork has shown in galleries at Bergamot Station in Santa Monica, the Chicago Cultural Center in Chicago, the Loisaida Center in New York, the Christen De Haan Fine Arts Center at the University of Indianapolis, and the Mathis Gallery at the University of Wisconsin-Parkside. William holds a B.F.A in Creative Photography from California State University, Fullerton. He was recently a resident artist at ACRE projects, 2017.