The paintings of Columbia College Chicago student Rossana Quixito will be on display in the gallery space at the Oak Park Township Senior Services Dining Room, 105 S. Oak Park Ave., until the end of May. Quixito, who is currently interning with the Oak Park Area Arts Council, was born to a Polish mother and an Angolan father. She grew up in the northern Polish city of Bydgoszcz until she was 17. 

Quixito’s work examines her experience as a biracial woman raised in Poland who is now living in America. 

“Being different gave me a lot of trouble, especially when I was in my grammar school,” Quixito once wrote of her life in Poland. “Some kids would come up to me and make a racist joke, or make fun of my puffy hair, without even making an effort to get to know me first.”

“As a visual arts major, she is aware of the social responsibly that art carries and she hopes that this collection will start a dialogue about art as a form of expression that connects people of different cultures, religions or statuses,” noted a statement released by OPAAC.

Quixito, who draws much of her artistic inspiration from the Mexican painter Frida Kahlo, explores through her art a variety of questions, the Township noted. 

“Do people and places shape your identity? Does being multicultural or being surrounded by different cultures help or destroy your sense of identity? What does it mean to be culturally aware?” 

The Oak Park Township Senior Service’s dining room gallery is open from 11 a.m. to 1 a.m., Monday through Friday.

— Michael Romain

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