I recently visited two extraordinary exhibitions being shown at two of Chicago’s museums that highlight art and culture from Hispanic communities. I was so impressed by what I saw that I am compelled to spread the word to art lovers in the Chicago area and elsewhere.
The exhibit “Los huecos del agua/Recent Indigenous Art from Mexico” at the National Museum of Mexican Art is truly in a league of its own. Each piece — paintings, photography, mural-size images and mixed-media pieces — is accompanied with labels in English, Spanish and the respective indigenous language of the 28 artists from different areas of southern Mexico.
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At the National Museum of Puerto Rican Arts and Culture, visitors have access to 20 visually captivating historical paintings that had never traveled outside Puerto Rico in the exhibit “Nostalgia for My Island: Puerto Rican Paintings from the Museo de Arte de Ponce.” Most importantly, these paintings cover three centuries of Puerto Rican life (from 1786-1962) as well as distinct painting traditions. The flawless lighting and the intimate yet inviting display of each painting are absolutely breathtaking.
Of course, there is much more to see at these two outstanding museums. As a strong supporter of the Chicago area art scene, I couldn’t feel more proud of what our world-class city offers not just to our Hispanic communities but also to the world.
Alejandro Lugo, Park Forest
Provide cultural competency training for health care workers
We have seen an increasing number of states passing laws banning gender-affirming care for young people.
Fortunately, in Illinois we have the opportunity to strengthen gender-affirming health care by urging our state representatives and senators to vote yes on HB2280 and SB2427. The bill will make cultural competency part of health care professionals’ regular trainings.
This law is about safety and helping health care professionals give the best care for their patients. People with disabilities, people of color, LGBTQ+ people, people living with HIV, intersex people and people of diverse faiths disproportionately experience poorer outcomes, discrimination, a lack of respect, and a lack of social and cultural support when interacting with a health care provider.
An important way to help improve health care outcomes for these communities is to ensure health care providers are consistently educated with cultural competency and cultural humility as part of continuing medical education.
Contact your state representative and senator to support these bills and show the people in our state that Illinois is a leader in providing best-practice care to their patients.
Justin Koziatek, Edgewater
Gun owners have rights, too
This is in response to reader Elizabeth Marren’s question asking why gun shops have more rights in Illinois than her grandchildren do to feel safe in school: Guns do not kill people, people with guns kill people.
So please, do not accuse gun shops or people who have Firearm Owners Identification cards as wrongdoers. We must abide by the rules and not harm our grandchildren. I fully respect Ms. Marren’s opinion, but gun owners have rights, too.