PILSEN — You’ll find Elvis, Doctor Seuss and Mayor Rahm Emanuel’s face on a donkey at a new exhibit at URI-EICHEN gallery honoring the one-year anniversary of the Chicago teachers strike.
The "Strike Show" collection pays homage to Chicago Teachers Union strikers with a series of photographs, strike posters and written testimonials.
“Some of them are really fun,” gallery co-owner Kathy Steichen said of the posters, which include the mayor’s face on a felt donkey with the caption, “Pin the tail on the one who’s to blame.” Another poster of a Scrabble board says, “Rahm, unscrambled, is ‘Harm.’”
The show, which opens Friday night, will also feature T-shirts, and poetry and stories that CTU members have written about their strike experiences. Another 250 digital photos will also be projected directly outside the gallery space.
In celebration of the CTU’s 75th anniversary, there will be free cupcakes and other baked treats from Pilsen baker Beurrage at Friday night’s opening from 6-10 p.m. at 2101 S. Halsted St.
Steichen, who’s also an activist, said this kind of show is important because she believes too little attention is given to labor rights issues.
“It’s very important for people to be active in the community and workplace and to speak out for what they think is right,” she said. “You can’t make decisions about children without the voice of the people working in the classroom.”
Visitors who make an appointment before Oct. 3 can also have a postcard printed at the gallery to be sent to the mayor.
At the show’s formal reception on Sept. 13, Old Town School of Folk Music’s Mark Dvorak will play labor tunes. Additionally, a panel discussion on “Public Education and Privatization in Chicago” will be presented with Roosevelt University's Stephanie Farmer, David Moberg of “In These Times,” author and historian Rick Perlstein, Erica Clark from Parents4Teachers and a CTU officer.