William Estrada grew up in California, Mexico, and Chicago. His teaching and art making practice focus on addressing inequity, migration, historical passivity and cultural recognition in historically marginalized communities. He documents and engages experiences in public spaces to transform, question, and make connections to established and organic systems through discussion, creation, and amplification of stories through creativity already present. He is currently a faculty member at the UIC School of Art and Art History and a Teaching Artist at Telpochcalli Elementary School. He has worked as an educator with Chicago Arts Partnership in Education, Hyde Park Art Center, SkyArt, Marwen Foundation, Urban Gateways, DePaul University’s College Connect Program, Graffiti Institute, Vermont College of Art and Design, Prison + Neighborhood Art Project, and the School of The Art Institute of Chicago.
William’s art and teaching are a collaborative discourse of existing images, text, and politics that appoints the audience to critically re-examine public and private spaces. As a teacher, artist, and cultural worker he reports, records, reveals, and amplifies experiences you find in academic books, school halls, teacher lounges, kitchen tables, barrios, college campuses, and in the conversations of close friends to engage in radical imagination. William is currently engaging in collaborative work with the Mobilize Creative Collaborative, Chicago ACT Collective, and Justseeds Artists’ Cooperative.
William has presented in various panels regarding community programming, arts integration, and social justice curricula through the Illinois Art Education Association, the School of the Art Institute of Chicago, Illinois Humanities Council, Smart Museum of Art, the National Guild of Schools in the Arts, National Art Education Association, Teachers for Social Justice San Francisco, Iowa University, Grand View University, Illinois State University, University of Nebraska at Kearney, Nebraska Art Teachers Association, Illinois Arts Alliance, Chicago Cultural Alliance, Gallery 400, Utah State University, and University of New Mexico. William was awarded the 2016 Teaching Artist Community Award from 3Arts Chicago, the Inaugural 2017 Artist in Residence for the Artist as Instigator Residency Program at the National Public Housing Museum, the 2021 National Leadership Award from the National Guild for Community Arts Education, the Inaugural 2023 Imagine Just Fellow, the 2023 Catalyst for Change Fellow, was named “The People’s Art Teacher” in The Reader’s People Issue 2023, and is a 2024 cohort member for the Mural Arts Initiative’s Strength Through Solidarity Initiative.
His current research is focused on developing community based and culturally relevant projects that center power structures of race, economy, and cultural access in contested spaces to collectively imagine just futures. Multiples and Multitudes was his first solo exhibition encompassing various works of art over the last 20 years and was on display at the Hyde Park Center from July 22 to October 29, 2023.