Hey. You are beautiful.

You are Beautiful DIY Sticker @ Galerie F Feb 5-14, 2016

“Hey, you are beautiful.”

How do you feel when someone tells you these words? What do you think of when you think of the word “beautiful”? Maybe you recall those beautiful big life moments like your first child being born, or maybe it’s the small moments of happiness you felt receiving a birthday card in the mail. 

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You’ve probably seen these silver, rounded rectangular stickers all around buses, trains, staircases or even installations around your neighborhood.

This sticker sensation started by the humble artist, Matthew Hoffman, has evolved into a community project celebrated worldwide. Driven by a simple, yet thoughtful message enforcing the beauty of individuals, its positivity has had an inspiring impact on artists and has challenged them to create their own version of what “You Are Beautiful” means.

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And in the week before Valentine’s day, You Are Beautiful has united Chicago artists and organizations to showcase what “beautiful” means to them.

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Held at Galerie F Gallery in Logan Square, Chicago, the You Are Beautiful DIY Sticker art show is running from February 5th-February 14th. The opening on February 5th was packed – I don’t think there was even one single minute where folks weren’t squeezing their way around the venue. Every inch of the walls were filled with YAB sticker pieces created with everything from paper 3D sculptures to pen and ink and collages.

Walking around the gallery, I felt like I was traveling back in time seeing iconic cartoon characters and comic book villains (and heroes) incorporated into the pieces, such as the Rugrats below (raise your hand if you’re a Rugrats fan!)

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Although a positive message, there were also a mix of YAB art interpretations that depicted violence, challenges and sadness, which I thought was in itself beautiful. It spoke to how even what we deem as flaws within ourselves builds up to our beauty. 

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Angie Jaime, one of the attendees at the show, said:

“I thought it was a delightful way to affirm everyone’s beauty within. There were so many unique expressions and interpretations of “You Are Beautiful” (mirroring our own unique beauty-states as individuals). It was a powerful meditation not only on what beauty is, but how we regard ourselves in relation to what beauty is.” 

Congrats to the artists involved and to the YAB team for putting up a wonderful show.

You’ve still got time! Go check out the art show this week at Galerie F. And while you’re at it, grab some YAB stickers and share the positivity in your city.

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