Sandra Antongiorgi

Post-Disciplinary Artist and Anti-Erasure Advocate

As a child born into a musical family in Puerto Rico, Sandra Antongiorgi was no stranger to the arts. When her family moved to Chicago at three years old, the tradition of celebrating milestones and events with music naturally followed.

In the third grade Antongiorgi’s interest in drawing emerged while watching a television ad for a DIY art starter kit. Antongiorgi began to create so many different characters that she got the attention of her teacher when she drew all over her desk. The teacher suggested art school. This transformative moment was the catalyst for self-learning, which carried Antongiorgi through a high school with a renowned arts program.

At 15 years old, Antongiorgi launched her visual arts career having had the unique opportunity to study under prominent local muralists and national artists, including contemporary pop artist Keith Haring. As a young artist Antongiorgi was influenced by the power and lasting impact of visual art, particularly pieces that provoked social awareness, emotional release and provided a voice for the community. Over the years, her gifted use of paint and formation of concept has led to scores of public art pieces, including murals and collaborations that today dot the Chicago landscape. Today, Antongiorgi’s work has been showcased in several museums and exhibitions, including The National Museum of Mexican Art, Zhou B Gallery and most recently, a solo exhibit at Advocate & Gochis Galleries in Los Angeles and the Center on Halsted Art Gallery.

In 2017, Antongiorgi’s mural collaboration, “Weaving Cultures,” won the Chicago Reader’s, "Best Mural of 2017". “Weaving Cultures” honors underrepresented women of color, including a transgender Latina. In 2018, “The Love I Vibrate,” a collaborative piece, made local headlines for the beauty and depiction of non-binary members of the community. That same year, one of Antongiorgi’s long-standing and iconic mural collaborations, “Es Tiempo de Recordar,” was whitewashed by the City. The controversy spurred Antongiorgi’s advocacy for the preservation of public art by pushing for a permanent public mural registry that preserves and protects cultural murals. Subsequently, a registry is being established this year to catalogue and commemorate outdoor murals across the City of Chicago and prevent complete removal or destruction.