Yesenia Bello: My mouth is a motherlode

Opening: Saturday, Feb 9, 2019 12 – 4 pm
Saturday, Feb 9 – 17, 2019

Mana Contemporary
2233 S Throop St
Studio #419
Chicago, IL 60608

In her first solo exhibition in Chicago, visual artist Yesenia Bello presents new works that respond to the gradual loss of two languages -- Spanish and English -- and the inability to identify with either of them over time. My mouth is a motherlode includes a series of small ceramics, drawings, and a hanging installation that enact the visual manifestation of the artist’s personal experiences of dealing with lingual entropy and reconciliation. 

The bilingual reality exists amid being entrenched in one language and freely flowing in between them both. This reality, however, is not monolithic. Each individual brings forward specificities of their multitude of cultures. And, a shared heritage means passing a certain understanding between peers, to bridge those gaps where language can fail. More than a connection, it can operate as a megaphone to amplify another way to navigate the world. 

Yesenia Bello (b. 1994 Norristown, Pennsylvania) makes installations, drawings, and sculptures in Chicago. Her work has been presented locally at venues including The Overlook Place, DfbrL8r Gallery, Clutch Gallery. She has shown works at the Jane Addams Hull-House Museum and Lillstreet Art Center as part of Collective Cleaners. Recently, she completed a HATCH Projects 2016-2017 residency at Chicago Artists Coalition. Yesenia spends her days fundraising for the thoughtful youth and adult artists of Albany Park Theater Project. Between 2011-2016 she was co-founder and organizer of Walla Fest, a volunteer run music and arts festival that worked to create community for emerging artists around the Philadelphia area. In 2018 she completed the ACRE Residency and Ox-bow Residency. Current shows include Living Architecture at 6018North, open through March 2019, as part of Art Design Chicago and cocurated by Tricia Van Eck and Teresa Silva. A cluster of her drawings can be found in Goldfinch Gallery’s Flatfiles. She looks forward to an upcoming collaborative show at Comfort Station in March of 2019. She received her BFA from the School of the Art Institute of Chicago with a focus in Fiber and Material Studies. For more info visit:


About the Organizer:

Teresa Silva is the Director of Exhibitions & Residencies at the Chicago Artists Coalition, where she creates a supportive space for artists to engage with one another through dialogue and collaboration. Teresa works in tandem with artists and curators to advance their creativity by connecting them with leading professionals and encouraging experimentation in their work. As a writer and curator, she has written exhibition essays and co-organized shows at 6018North, the African-American Cultural Center at the University of Illinois-Chicago, Comfort Station, Defibrillator Performance Art Gallery, DEMO Project, The Franklin, the Jane Addams Hull-House Museum, the Soap Factory, and Tiger Strikes Asteroid. Teresa Silva serves as board president for VGA Gallery and board member for Heaven Gallery. She is a member of the Chicago-based artist collective, Tiger Strikes Asteroid. Teresa is a 2018 recipient of a Robert Rauschenberg Residency and a 2017 Diversity + Leadership Fellowship with the Alliance of Artists' Communities.