J. Itzel Velazquez

Buddy MFG

Regular price $28.00

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Helping Handles: Tote Bags 4 Refugee Fundraiser is a series of tote bags made by Chicago artists to raise funds to get activated cell phones for asylum seekers arriving in Chicago. 
Tote bags go for $28 - or you can donate your old phone in exchange for a tote bag of your choice! 
Inspired by arts community mobilization efforts like the Bootlegs 4 Brandon project, Buddy has assembled 14 amazing artists to donate their artwork, which we’ve printed on bags that we’re releasing Aug 25. meet the urgent needs of assylum seekers involuntarily bussed to our city. Help us help our new neighbors get oriented, communicate with family and friends, and thrive with us in our welcoming communities.
Public Media Institute is working to get these newly-arriving refugees working phones with SIM cards. This is something our mutual aid buddies across the city have unanimously let us know there is urgent need for; other nonprofits and community groups are working to get asylum seekers’ basic needs met, but no one is helping people get the phones essential to find work, communicate with loved ones, and navigate complicated government aid.
In June, PMI acquired 100 SIM cards, but have only been able to activate 30 of them so far. We are raising funds to activate more phones at the cost of about $40 per phone.  More information about our campaign to collect funds for phones and old phone donations is here.  

Dimensions: 14.5 x 15.5"
Materials: Screenprint on 6 oz, 100% cotton canvas tote

J. Itzel Velazquez

Instagram: @untiernoabrazo

Itzel, born and raised in Chicago currently attends the School of the Art Institute of Chicago as an art education undergrad student, is a substitute educator at the Chicago Children’s Museum's Art Studio, and a Marwen Alumn/Emerging Teaching Artist. Their bodies of work are an instrument to the various ideas and traditions interwoven with being from the Latin American diaspora, specifically from Guerrero, Mexico. Their work explores how their background and identity shaped their experiences in the United States of America. This can be seen as the work engages with the significance of spirituality, family/culture, and gender/sexuality in their upbringing. Their work reflects the ongoing process of decolonization, beginning with spiritual practices like cleanses that have been passed down from generations, stories, and traditions that survived colonization.

Artwork Details:

Originally a 3-layered Screen Print, depicting a carne asada/family cookout on a hot Chicago summer day

(McKinley Park)

Hoofprint is a Chicago-based printshop and publisher specializing in fine art editions utilizing screenprinting, lithography, etching, and relief processes. They work collaboratively with emerging artists to create limited edition prints. Print partners Liz Born and Gabe Hoare co-founded Hoofprint in 2012.