“I try to do well on whatever I’m working on – I try to include all the colors, so one is bound to have their favorite somewhere. I like working at Project Onward because I get to practice and learn from other artists.”
Fernando Ramirez (b. 1977) is from Guanajuato, Mexico and moved at the age of three to Chicago’s Pilsen neighborhood. Perhaps the most important and popular artist at Chicago’s celebrated youth arts program, Gallery 37, Ramirez completed numerous commissioned art projects including portraits of Mayor and Mrs. Daley, as well as many visiting dignitaries from around the world. A decade later, he continues to paint colorful scenes of Chicago’s famous locales, enjoys a unique niche in painting three-dimensional objects, and is now a popular commission artist at Project Onward. In 2021, Fernando was selected by the Department of Cultural Affairs and Special Events to be the Back of the Yards Artist in Resindence. Here he has excelled at visually representing and connecting with his community. Fernando has also exhibited twice at the National Musuem of Mexican Art. In 2011, he exhibited a variety of painted bottles memorializing prominent Mexican heroes and heroines at the museum. Also,in 2021, Fernando painted an Ex Voto Votice for the Día de Muertos - Offerings & Gratitude exhibit at NMOMA. This ex voto will join the museum’s permanent collection.
When Ramirez isn’t completing commissions and special projects for the public, he enjoys painting and drawing images from mythology, fantasy and pan-religious themes. This more personal body of work makes use of skull and skeleton motifs, and hidden signs and symbols. He joined the studio in 2006 and lives in Back of the Yards neighborhood, Chicago.