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  • Writer's pictureAmelia Dellos

The Onion Queen & The Three Fires -- who's city is this?

Last year, I started art journaling, which in turn led me to work in collage. I am finding as a writer that I enjoy putting the words away and focusing solely on image. It is extremely refreshing and has turned into my new obsession.

Here is a piece that I completed for a week-long challenge for Chicago Collage Community.

I had found images of local native and indigenous people but couldn't figure out a way to include them in the image in a way that didn't feel exploitative. I was taking a picture of my final image, and I hadn't put away all the images I had found, and these two images were in my work area. I call this a happy accident.

Native people are part of Chicago’s past, present, and future and it is our responsibility to listen to Indigenous voices, to honor their rights, and to work together towards equity and inclusion. The Chicago Collage Community recognizes and honors the native and indigenous peoples of the Chicagoland area - the Three Fires Confederacy, Potawatomi, Odawa and Ojibwe Nations, as well as other Tribal Nations that know this area as their ancestral homeland, including the Menominee, Ho-Chunk, Miami, Peoria, and Sac and Fox.

I found this image of the onion lady in a vintage ad for onions. The tagline was, "Don't get that bottled-up feeling. Onions will keep you fit." I made her into my Onion Queen.

This was my original design before the black-and-white photos landed in the photo. I found the sticker with the numbers on my floor when I was cleaning up my paper scraps and stuck it on the image for fun.

This image was part of the @chicagocollagecommunity for our weeklong challenge CHICAGOLLAGE. #chicagollage for a possible feature on the @chicagocollagecommunity

Jan 1st: Chigagou, an Algonquian word meaning “onion field.”

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