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House of Kapwa

Photo: Fenell Doremus, Kindling Group

About the program

Oakwood Beach

4100 S Lake Shore Dr., Chicago, IL 60653

The House of Kapwa site closed on November 5, 2023.

The House of Kapwa is an interactive and ceremonial outdoor public sculpture installation honoring Rest, collective care, ecological grief, and the Filipino indigenous virtue-ethic of Kapwa: shared interconnectedness, or ‘unity-of-self-and-other.’ The House of Kapwa is a space that invites us to sense the relationship between how we care for ourselves, how we care for each other, and how we care for the Earth.

The opening at the top of the structure signifies our connection with our ancestors and the Divine when we engage in the practice of Rest. We are kapwa through time and space; we invite the wisdom of our ancestors to guide us as we nurture our Earth home for our future descendants.

The House features an exterior natural loom that invites visitors to weave plant material and flowers into the structure itself. This symbolizes how we as humans are entangled with our ecology and the more-than-human world and demonstrates the need for the collective to protect spaces of care and Rest, especially for those who have endured disproportionate levels of ecological, social, political, and colonial violence.

How will we move mountains to protect our Earth’s future if we do not pause to process the mountains of our unprocessed ecological and spiritual grief? This is a site for us to be held in Rest. A site that calls us into reverence and gratitude as we honor our losses. A site for belonging as we remember we are kapwa. 


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Andrea - Andrea Yarbrough

House of Kapwa

Chicago, United States


Andrea Yarbrough is a multi-disciplinary artist, curator, and educator based in Chicago. She leads the collaborative placekeeping initiative, in c/o: Black women, pushing forward a Black womanist praxis of erecting sites of care by elevating the importance of witnessing and cooperative building as forms of care work. Her practice transforms everyday materials into art objects, exhuming the invisibility of understudied histories. Andrea is a proud native of the south side of Chicago and earned a MA in Museum and Exhibition Studies from the University of Illinois at Chicago.

Alexx Temeña is a ceremonial artist, experiential designer, and somatic minister. Based in Chicago, she draws on the mediums of visual poetry, sculpture, installation, and social practice to craft living worlds that call us into healing our disconnection from ourselves, each other, our ancestors, the Earth, and the Divine. Her recent works are rooted in explorations of Rest as a spiritual practice, somatics, ecological grief, and Filipino indigenous wisdom traditions. In 2022, she and Andrea Yarbrough received a grant from E(art)H Chicago to install the House of Kapwa public sculpture on the Southside.

Andrés Lemus-Spont is a designer, educator, fabricator, and proud child of Mexican immigrants. He teaches art and architecture in various in-school and after-school programs for youth from kindergarten through college. He believes strongly in the value of mentoring and has done so formally through Big Brothers Big Sisters and informally through apprenticeships for college and early-career artists and designers. He is the founder of Building Brown Workshop, a design and fabrication studio serving artists, architects, and communities. Alongside Marya Spont-Lemus, Andrés is co-founder of their shared community arts practice, ¡Anímate! Studio, which is a vehicle for playful, intergenerational creative workshops centered around joy and criticality in public space. From 2015-2019 that work took the form of the FrankenToyMobile. Andrés is also a founding member of the Mobilize Creative Collaborative.

Roland Knowlden is a Liberian American interdisciplinary artist and architectural designer from New Jersey, currently based in Chicago, IL. Knowlden’s architectural background has cultivated his ongoing interest in constructed landscapes and the cultural and social implications of rendering space, either as landscape or map. Working across painting and collage, Knowlden’s abstract cityscape paintings and maps articulate the tensions wrought by erasure, displacement, and palimpsest within new imagined geographies.

Interrogating notions of origin, belonging, boundaries, and power, Knowlden’s critical cartography aims not only to reproduce existing environmental experiences and affects, but to propose new spatial realities. With each new configuration and composition, Knowlden furthers his practice of imagining otherwise.

The City is the Site