Two years ago, the idea to create an illustrated book on Czech history and the Mexican neighbourhood of Pilseñ in Chicago was born. Its initiator was the student of Hispanic studies from the University of Chicago, Irena Čajková, who was born in the Czech Republic. "Together we visited the Faculty and took a walk in Pilsen. A few weeks later, I started working in the Studio of Media and Didactic Illustrations. One of the first works I assigned to the students of the studio was to create illustrations tracing the history of Czech and American Pilsen. It took two semesters to create the illustration. Firstly, we processed Czech history and secondly, we worked with documents we received from Chicago. The result is a very diverse and emotional artwork united by muted colour stylization. We arranged an exhibition and published a gift book full of illustrations created by our students. It was Jakub Heyduk from the Studio of Graphic Design who was in charge of the graphic purity and unity of the exhibition and the book. The book is generously conceived, its cover is adorned with the logo of the project, the letter "ñ" which shines on a blue base that symbolizes the American Pilsen.
An exhibition of these illustrations was launched in Chicago at the Citlalin Gallery in the Pilsen district of Chicago on August 17th. Moreover, we presented a mural created by our three students: Lucie Šťastná, Tomáš Staněk and Josef Sedlák. It turned out that our intention to interpret the history to the Mexican citizens in Chicago's neighbourhood Pilsen was correct. The book and exhibition sparked genuine interest. The authors of the mural were selected on the basis of a studio competition, the result of the voting was balanced, the author of the second final design, Martin Kelbl, will have the chance to present his artwork next year.
We would like to express our thanks to everyone who participated in the success of the Chicago project, namely to Irena Čajková (University of Chicago), the Dean Josef Mištera (FDULS), Mr. Consul Bořek Lizec (Consulate in Chicago), T.G. Masaryk Czech School in Chicago, the publishing house NAVA from Pilsen, the organization Sister Cities and many other institutions, and to Lucii Šťastná, Tomáš Staňek and Josef Sedlák for the amazing and valuable representation of our Faculty.