Delilah Salgado / Tough Love, Soft Love (Chicago)


Tough Love, Soft Love, Crocodile Tears, Black Love & Brown Love  (2021) by artist Delilah Salgado

These artworks are about colorism in Latino culture, and the tools my second grade teacher taught me to survive. Mrs. Thompson was an African American, bilingual Spanish teacher and she showed me how to adapt in the systems of oppression by giving me “tough love.” Growing up I related so much of myself to Black women on family television shows like Family Matters, The Huxtablesand The Fresh Prince of Bel Air

These artworks are about a Brown girl who grew up to be tough in order to survive, but grew soft in order to thrive.

Due to colorism,

in my own family, I learned to love myself from Black women and I stood up for myself because of Black Women. 

installation, 2021


Delilah Salgado is a multidisciplinary artist, mother of three, and activist. She is a co-founder of Mujeres Mutantes, an all-women’s arts collective from Chicago. The goals of Mujeres Mutantes are to empower the community through free arts programming, inclusive curated shows, and fostering relationships that create positive urban cultural experiences through collaborations. 

Along with her collaborative works with the collective, Delilah’s art and activism has been through working with youth in the Pilsen neighborhood of Chicago where she taught Graffiti and Street Art as well as co-founded the now annual “We Are Hip Hop” festival with her dedicated students. Delilah received a grant from NALAC for “Mujer y Memoria,” an international dialogue between two artists and two youth from Chicago and Panama, and created two murals that reflect each side’s stories. Salgado had a solo show at Pilsen Outpost titled “Intergalactic Space Goddess” and completed a mural through Chicago Public Art group for ComEd, with students from Proviso East High School in Maywood, IL under the tutelage of the renowned artist Hector Duarte. In February of 2020 at the beginning of the COVID-19 pandemic, she was an artist-in-residence at Hyde Park Arts Center along with members of Mujeres Mutantes, where they completed a diorama mural installation “A Beautiful Journey” about artists and the journey to their innermost selves. Mujeres Mutantes was also graciously awarded a grant from Hyde Park Art Center as a participants of ARC 2.0. Delilah has also recently participated in the Community Windows Project led by Chicago Public Art Group (core artist Cynthia Weiss), and installed a mural in her neighborhood of McKinley Park that addresses the need for environmental justice in communities of color. Delilah is also cultivating a body of work inspired by Graffiti, Mythology, her Ancestors, and the philosophical work of Joseph Campbell.


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