by Alex Parker
Barack Obama had Shepard Fairey.
Miguel del Valle has Maya Escobar.
The 27-year-old self-described digital media performance artist recently completed a “mobile mural,” featuring a stoic del Valle surrounded by images of Chicago — neighborhoods, greenery, cycling, a bungalow and Willis (née Sears) Tower. Nodding to del Valle’s grassroots campaign and its use of Twitter and other online media, Escobar named the canvas mural #delvallemural (pronounced “Hashtag: del Valle mural).
“I really wanted to show a vibrant thriving city. For me, that’s how I see Chicago," says Escobar, who moved back to her native Chicago from Saint Louis three weeks ago. “It’s about neighborhoods and it’s about communities, and not just about the big skyscrapers.”
She’s a self-professed del Valle supporter, and completed the mural in two weeks, finally finishing it last Friday morning. Escobar chronicled the mural’s creation on her blog.
“It was a labor of love,” says Escobar, who lives in East Rogers Park. “I hope this inspires other young people to stand up for what they believe in.”