Chicago artist Cecelia Colón channels Afro-Puerto Rican grandmother in latest exhibit kicking off at Humboldt Park on Saturday

CHICAGO (WLS) – “My name is the patron saint of art, music and poetry,” said Cecelia Colón. “I always called myself an artist when I was a kid. I never said you were going to be an artist, or that you had to go to school to be an artist, I always know I was. . “

Colón grew up in Chicago. She is a self-taught artist who uses mixed media and natural elements in her work.

But Colón says she has no control over her designs. Her ideas come to her through visions that she believes were her ancestors, especially her grandmother, whose roots were Afro-Puerto Rican.

“I feel like raising her in a space where she no longer needs to feel that she is not enough that she is not worthy, because of the way she has been treated. , conditioning that was put on her because of her skin color and all that. She’s a queen, I put her back on her throne, “said Colón.

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In December, Colon was diagnosed with pancreatic cancer and underwent two cycles of chemotherapy.

She finished the last part of her new 33-piece exhibition just after the last day of delisting.

“I was throwing up, I couldn’t hold back food, I lost a lot of weight, I lost over 67 pounds,” Colón said. “This is the most pieces I have ever done in an exhibition.” I had the most energy to create that I have ever had in my life, like I said, I don’t think i think it was me, i think was going through me, i was just a passing vessel of my ancestors. “

The exhibit opens to the public at the Honeycomb Network in Humboldt Park on Saturday, its 57th birthday.

“Cecelia is a warrior and she’s a brilliant artist, and her works have to be known, what she creates, she creates from her heart space, from her mind space, and you are not going to let her exhibit d ‘indifferent art, you’ will not leave it unscathed, ”said Denise Ruiz, co-founder of the Honeycomb Network.

“It’s very empowering to know that I am connected to people who have come before me, they are suffering, these are struggles and all the things that they have endured, allow me to be where I am at. this moment. For me, I am grateful to honor my grandmother throughout this exhibition, ”said Colón.

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