One of the new pieces of street artwork on McKinley Park's flatiron building at 3473 S. Archer Ave., Chicago, says "Stop Asian Hate."

Street Artists Return to McKinley Park Flatiron Building to Paint Against Anti-Asian Hate

Published April 18, 2021

Working predominantly from Asian-related themes to show support for the local community amid rising anti-Asian hate crimes, the crew of street artists led by Marcelo Ruiz and Cesar Calderon returned to McKinley Park to again paint the flatiron building at West 35th Street and South Archer Avenue.

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Adding several new murals to the boarded-up building’s storefronts over the weekend of April 17-18, 2021, the crew was freshening up the site with new artwork, Ruiz said, to “do something positive for the community.”

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“The art gets to stay up,” he said, noting the cooperation with and support from the building’s owner and management. The dilapidated building is set for a full first-floor rehab, according to a building permit issued February 18, 2021, but the storefronts are available for painting prior to construction.

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The latest artwork replaces some earlier-painted artwork and joins other pieces that remain from a September 2020 painting event and fund-raiser for robbed ice cream paleta vendor Isidro Alvarez.

Ruiz said the street art was a good way to beautify and bring attention to the area. He noted how the TV show The Chi filmed at that location a few days prior, with the street art likely serving as attractive scene elements.

All of the artists have participated on a volunteer basis, Ruiz said, and pay for all the paint and materials they use out of their own pockets.

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