The Chicago White Sox will celebrate Hispanic Heritage Month by giving away an exclusive T-shirt designed by South Side artist Sam Kirk at an upcoming game.
The shirt, part of the team’s Free T-shirt Thursdays series, features imagery representing the various Latino cultures represented throughout Chicago’s neighborhoods, said Kirk, who is Mexican and Puerto Rican.
“It was nice to be able to create something that celebrates the overall Latino community in Chicago,” Kirk said, noting the distinct racial divides among the city’s neighborhoods. “Even as an artist, I’m always asked to design things that speak to either my Mexican or Puerto Rican heritage, but not both.”
The team’s name is spelled out “Xicágo White Sox” on the front of the shirt, nodding to the “x” in Latinx — a gender-inclusive alternative to Latino, Latina or Latin@.
“It sounds the same as Chicago if you pronounce it in Spanish, which I thought was cool,” Kirk said.
The background design includes a street vendor selling tamales, traditional masks and costumes from specific celebrations or festivals and a cactus, among other symbols.
Kirk, who said she spent much of her childhood watching Sox games from family members’ roofs in Bridgeport, said she designed the shirt based on the culture seen outside in Chicago’s neighborhoods.
“This shirt is a cool way to educate others — Latinos or other people — about the different things within our cultures that we don’t necessarily see because we don’t visit those parts of the city,” Kirk said.
Kirk’s artwork was recently featured in New York City’s World Pride celebration, where she painted a mural paying tribute to transgender and Puerto Rican activist Victoria Cruz. The queer artist’s work also filled an entire block of Times Square.
National Hispanic Heritage Month runs from Sept. 15 through Oct. 15. Kirk’s T-shirt will be given to the first 10,000 fans at Guaranteed Rate Field for the Sox’ Sept. 12 matchup against the Kansas City Royals.