For some, to migrate means to let go of their dreams, for some, of their life, and for all, invariable to detach and disassociate. And the road is a collection of fragments of those who got lost between that which they were and that which will they never get to be.
As I write this, one of these insatiable roads took the lives of 55, and The Road swallowed thousands more without us realizing it. And we turn the page to the pain of others… until we are confronted by the next tragedy.
Our societies are implacable. Incorrigible. Immersed in a vortex of egotism that doesn't allow us to see beyond ourselves. And in this convoluted journey, we lose focus, and we continue moving forward unaware of what happens outside of us. Our surroundings shrink and tunnel vision isolates us from the needy, blinding us from their predicaments. They vanish, disappear, and become invisible.
And for the invisible, we reserve the worst form of forgetfulness, which emanates from indifference, from the numbing sloth that suffocates empathy, from the selfish relief that dehumanizes, transforming the other into a parasite, a plague, and a threat.
Through multiple confrontations with that which hides at plain sight, we turned our frustration and indignation into action in favor of displaced children throughout Mexico, donating all proceeds from this exhibit to support efforts by institutions and individuals that accompany these kids in their daily journey.
This is a community exercise that will allows us to impact positively, though briefly, the lives of children avid of a bit of stability.
We hope you find one of many memorable pieces to give a permanent home.
Los niños invisibles | Adan Days
I had a privileged childhood. I grew up with united parents, two brothers and my four grandparents. My "normal" childhood was going to school, playing sports at a sports club, doing homework, watching cartoons, and sleeping comfortably after dinner; spending Sundays with the family, going camping, playing soccer with my friends, among other activities of a "normal child".
But the reality is that I also grew up without looking into the eyes of the thousands of children my age who were never close to having the things and experiences I had; "invisible" children for the many of us who grew up with all the comforts. Perhaps, back then I didn’t have the possibility or the reasoning to see them and help them, but that does not mean that they didn't exist or continue to exist.
With this piece I want to commemorate all the children I never saw, and for it to serve as a reminder: Just because we do not see them, it means that they are not there.
Un campamento | Jaque Jours
Camping became a tradition ever since we bought our first tent. We never lacked chairs, light, sheets; not even a small gas stove. With these comforts I had the dream to live “in the woods”, those woods with doors, security guard, bathroom, and showers - where it was comfortable to camp and days later return home to sleep on my bed.
This piece is a tribute to the memory and a blow to the fantasy. An uncomfortable comparison. It is the portrait of a camp that resembles something we have seen and yet forget it is there.
Fe, valor, esperanza | Iris Alexa
Beginning of a spring, give a change that begins in oneself and thus give hope, freedom to those around us. Let's continue with perseverance and persistence, as the flowers bloom, let's make our children look further and see an opportunity to keep flying.
That’s how I grew up and I want to share it, to give and create hope alongside those who raise up to the occasion
Kids are free, spontaneous and we should never try to make them fit a mold, limiting their creativity and their dreams. Let’s see beyond that! Let's break molds!
Unblinking Eyes | Angel Onofre
Here is an attempt to capture the anxieties of childhood and the peace we attempt to find in the activities that we enjoy. From the trivial insecurities to the traumas. The experiences that pile up and begin to form our personality. Through playful humorous expressions and insidious imagery, I wanted to convey the journey of Childhood. That discovery of the good and the bad that make up Life.
Para un niño | Humberto Elizalde
A native of the state of Coahuila. He graduated with honorable mention from the medium professional in Plastic Arts of the National Institute of Fine Arts and Literature, CEDART Alfonso Reyes school (2017-2021 generation).
Humberto is trained in subjects on painting techniques, marketing and creation of cultural projects. He has participated as a muralist in projects of the government of San Nicolas de los
Heron. He participated as a volunteer in the Norte Creativo 18 festival and in the Callegenera Rebuild 2021 festival.
My process for this piece was very different. Generally, I do some tests on the elements that I want to integrate, but now I jumped directly onto the platform; almost without guiding lines and applying the Gouache in several layers on successive days. I was inspired by the
science fiction stories that my Dad told us, the same ones that he had read in his youth. Hence the spaceman, because I think that’s how I saw my Dad when I was a youngling.
Colores de la infancia | Estaphany Mora
It is easy to remember the things that made me happy at the beginning of my life. The candies I tried, the toys with which I spent hours triggering my imagination, and that day where on a Nativity play I played the role of a Star, right before Christmas, those were some of the happiest moments of my childhood.
I am a 25-year-old freelance artist who focuses on traditional illustration techniques, I have approximately 4 years of professional experience and the vast majority of my works have the intention of transmitting mainly emotions of joy and well-being, I seek to create a space in which we can go when reality urges us, a space that makes us feel good and identified in a positive way, mixing everyday scenarios with fantasy and science fiction.
Childhood | Meg Meyers
I was 5 years old. I found a new friend that summer. He was a green fuzzy caterpillar. Boy did we have fun! He went for rides on my little record player, took baths in the bathroom sink, explored the vast mountains and rugged terrain of knees and elbows of a 5-year old me. I knew he loved it all. Needless to say, my mom had to rescue him from many of these fun adventures he was having, and ultimately had to go to the doctor because of a mysterious bumpy rash that appeared all over those knees and elbows. I like to think he was released back out into the wild of our backyard in Chicago after that… but nobody really remembers.
El gran vacío de unos zapatos pequeños | Jimena Peluche
It was the mid-90’s, when the “Mi Alegría” toy commercials
aired on Channel 5. As a child I always dreamed of having the “Mi Alegría” high heels. They were made of transparent pink plastic, with a lot of glitter. Neither my parents, nor Santa Claus, nor the Three
Wise Men got them for me. I never knew if it was because they were expensive or simply because they were high heels. What I do know is that once I became an adult and earned my own money, I was willing to buy them, the problem was that my feet no longer fit into the small toy heels, and that is how I have longed for them and tried to replace them in vain. I will continue my search until the end of times, though I know I will never fill the void those plastic heels left in me.
Al cabo que no me importa | Vampkira
VampKira is a Chicago based multidisciplinary artist who loves everything Tiki, Geeky and Strange. Her surrealist style has both a dark and whimsical touch. VampKira has been an art instructor since 2012, and currently teaches with the National Museum of Mexican Art.
She is also the curator of Pintura Obscura -A Dark & Whimsical Art Exhibition, which is an annual art show in Chicago.
The work is based on a nightmare and a Mexican childhood belief, in which it is said that newborn or unbaptized children were taken by witches and to avoid this, open scissors had to be placed under their pillow. I remember being scared by this idea when I was a child and I wanted to represent it this way.
Preserve | Lisa Kwon
The thing behind the fence, a “sleeping” ball of leather and teeth, alone, and mummified behind the neighbor’s garage, time has left it to be a child’s discovery… An itch to be scratched by the most deranged child of the batch, predictably disturbing the body with a stick, we all flee…
They catch up to me, the creature and the mummy, a choice is presented - to jump or to stand my ground and turn around.
I turn around…
Nieve | Ely Astorga
From the different personalities of a couple there are many aspects, attributes and ways of thinking in their children. When they are two people who have nothing in common, the result has its own vision.
He is the forest and the pines, she is the beach and the sea, I am the mountain and the snow, and all my childhood I saw everything in my own way.
Rescuing cats was vital in my childhood. Their independence made me choose them as an example. At the same time, dinosaurs were (are) my passion while the porcelain dolls that my great aunts gifted me, not that much.
Those dolls didn’t resist rough play, but their dresses were cute, and I was worried my dinosaurs could feel cold or be unprotected, so I would dress them with the silk or velvet garments of the dead dolls. Curiously, the image of a beast clad in a dress became a precise and loyal protection of my own personality and character.
El taller de la abuela | Gree Grecia
When I was a child, my grandmother had a workshop where she made dolls and crafts (grannies, witches, snowmen, many things). I've always been told that my grandfather taught me to draw, but my grandmother had that space where I could be creative.
She gave me blank doll faces so that I could make my own and provided me with fomi sheets where I created my own characters, so I appreciate her great influence and contribution to my love of creating. In my piece I showcase my cousin, my eternal playmate.
Space Rabbit Dreams of Sunshine | Chii
Childhood for me was experienced in a bubble.
With severe asthma and frequent illness, most of my play was done indoors – but my head was always in the clouds. My favorite stuffed bunny and many other happy creatures were my friends, and the magic of anime took my imagination even further.
As my small world grew larger over time, I look back at the sense of wonder I had as even the little things were so exciting when everything was new.
Ojalá | Luciérnaga Collage
Since 2014 I have been working in the education sector with young people living in vulnerable situations.
Generator of awareness of social problems using the analog collage technique as a form of expression. I combine the creative process of my works with fragments of stories, songs and poems that are immersed in the images and their descriptions.
The main problems that I address in my collages are: social inequality, climate change, identity and culture. "¿Olvida usted algo?" takes on the impact of migration on children.
The Meadows | Payton Oakes
Hi, my name is Payton Oakes, and I'm a designer and creator. I love typography, illustrating, realistic fake plants, and the color yellow! My work varies from illustration to lettering to mixed media and beyond! I can't seem to check off just one box, but I enjoy expressing emotions, feelings, and storytelling in my work, whatever form that may take.
Aprendí a volar | Once 55
Inspired by my homeland, Colombia. Colorful houses, decorated walls, balconies full of flowers, a laugh in my heart, a couple of inspiring songs playing in the background, always pampered by my mother, open arms for my dad, with my grandmother on her rocking chair, with my grandfather and his imaginary friend, the scent
of a delicious dish cooked by my grandmother, sundowns, laughter and daily family love. That was my childhood, that was me, with open wings ready to fly over town and get to my happiness.
Paraíso Perdido | Peachels
Paraíso Perdido, is a piece inspired by a story that my mother told me as a child before going to sleep. “The Selfish Giant” by Oscar Wilde tells us about the inflexible posture that we sometimes show to children, even to our inner child and how the garden of life withers as we close ourselves off from the possibility of naivety and goodness towards our environment. Before deciding what to paint, I watched videos about the situation of migrant children, the causes that force
them to leave their home, the terrible journey to reach an unknown place and the rejection and uncertainty in the detention centers.
How to capture the beauty of childhood remembering those tragic stories, thinking that right now a child is abandoning his childhood? I didn’t want to repeat the pain. I decided that my piece should be like a prayer, a wish or a tribute to childhood, to the purity and goodness
that identifies children and that sometimes we seems to we have forgotten or turned into a symbol of weakness. As I put in each color, I remembered parts of the story: children exiled from a blooming garden by a giant who did not want to share the beauty of what he believed to be his land, the spring that flees from the garden together with the children, and the winter that park in a closed heart that ends up getting sick, it reminded me that the borders in a world that we do not control are illusory and isolate us as human beings.
In this work I render my visualization of what I wish for unprotected children and our forgotten inner child.
A Day in the Sunset | Ammie Olvera
My artwork shows that in my childhood I always wanted to go to the ocean and see the sunset by myself. I couldn’t really experience that because as a little girl I was much more vulnerable. I also drew the sunset because ever since I was little I loved sunsets. Every time I see
one I remember this quote I read on Instagram “Sunsets are proof that endings can be beautiful too” which encourages me to not give up and push myself harder.
¿A dónde vas? | Nessa
Where did you go when you were a kid and things got tough? I went to another world where nothing that hurts is there, where only creatures invented by me existed, where all the color and peace can be perceived everywhere. I added 2 quartz to it because lately it is what I have taken refuge in since sometimes I still use the same
trick to get out of this reality. And something that I learned in these years is that there is nothing wrong being creative and imaginative as I have been told all my life, I finally found a place for it and that is why I am what I am.
Aves Migratorias | Dan Martín del Campo
This is an homage to migrant children, who fly above barriers propelled by their dreams and the hope of a happy home.
Blurry Memories | Sarah Canchola
My piece shows the forgetfulness that some people experience when growing up because not everyone remembers their childhood at all, or they barely do. At times, remembering happens in blurry memories so I tried to represent that as best as I can. I focussed on
showing more of the idea of what something is rather than what something actually is.
Enfoque / Cambio | Turk3y
I still don’t have children but recently my niece was born and it changed my perspective on many aspects of everyday life. I see her and fill more conscious and committed to taking care of myself and my surroundings as a way of taking care of her so she can have a happy and plentiful future.
Gallinera | Pam Carrington
While searching my collection of childhood memories, one came back constantly: I didn’t have imaginary friends, I had a place (a planet? A city? A world? Who knows, it was too little to worry about definitions) I don’t know why, but it was called “Gallinera” and in it I was Brave Seagull, why? I truly can’t remember, most probably because I liked the sound of those two words together, but it was a place inside my head where all the food tasted yummy, where moms didn’t “tell you off” and where anything could happen, nothing was scary.
With time I grew up and left the Gallinera behind, or so I thought. As time passes by, I realize that everything I draw, everything I do, are semi-fortunate attempts to return to that place.
Memories with Grandma | Nathaniel Sanchez
I drew memories that I had with my grandmother. I divided my board into four pieces. In the upper left corner I placed a spool of thread, a needle, and a piece of red fabric that represent my grandmother’s love of sewing. In the opposite corner, two cups of coffee, red and blue, representing when my grandmother and I had
coffee outside. On the bottom left there is a broom, mop and radio that remind me of how she used to play music and sing while we cleaned the house together. In the last quarter there are vines around the edges and in the center a pink tulip, a sunflower and a red rose. Among the flowers there are garden tools that remind
me of when we cultivated flowers in the garden.
El pensamiento | L.G.O.
What I want to share through this piece is the warmth of a family, the warmth of love. Learning, adventure, is the art that accompanies us.
But the most important thing is that sometimes there is sadness to fight, head up high, things that are going to
Growing Apart | Marissa Estrada
The purpose of my artwork is to show how a child’s bond with their parent(s) or guardian can weaken as they grow older. I know I am not the only person whose childhood had ups and downs, so I wanted to
create something that anyone can relate to and after multiple attempts to capture a diminished bond I landed on a child’s drawing on the fridge because my parents would put any of my school artwork on our fridge. There’s still some drawings in there from ages ago, and new ones from my siblings
Parque de las montañas | Lizz Merino
94 was a chaotic time in Mexico, and one day, out of the blue, my dad stopped wearing suits and ties. I didn’t understand why he spent so much time at home but why would it matter when we were able to
go to the park with the mountains every afternoon! He took the bridle and I ran downhill, elevating my kite as high as possible, and as it flew for hours we could almost forget the chaotic 94 and that my dad would never get to use his portfolio, suit and tie.
Cuentos del mar | Miss Flores
The wonderful Merrie Melodies cartoons along with the classic films “Clash of the Titans” and “Jason and the Argonauts” made the first time I saw the sea memorable. According to my dad, there were ancient Gods with unimaginable powers ... one of them was Poseidon, “God of the seas and agitator of the earth.” Being in
front of the sea, it was inevitable to imagine that this great God sent all those huge waves to prevent the arrival of those pirates that my mother mentioned in her stories.
El Árbol | Perla Hernández
Perla Hernández, photographer by trade and art lover, with a degree in Audiovisual Language and Production. From an early age she showed skills for drawing and painting; she found her passion there and today day she undertook her businesses based on art and her professional studies.
Playful Puppets | Jim Martin
Jim has been in the art industry for 30+ years. As an artist he grew drawing cartoons and comics, influenced by MAD magazine, kids books and comics.
Jim enjoys creating with acrylic paint, paper and pen, or pencil and sometimes ventures into Photoshop. His style is cartoonish and imaginative and he enjoys making people smile with his art. He is the father of 3.