(Link to Part One)
Blank walls are magnets for graffiti, but treating those walls as a canvas for public art projects commands respect even among taggers.
To try to halt the spread of random graffiti and alter the urban landscape, Colleen Sorenson joined with Federico Vega to launch Muros en Blanco in San Miguel de Allende. They met with city leaders, including Mayor Mauricio Trejo Pureco, and convinced them to establish Colonia Guadalupe as the city’s first arts district.
Enthusiasm was so high, they were given virtually no time to throw together the new arts district’s first event and public art projects in March of 2013. First, the pair had to identify walls appropriate for the murals and obtain permission from property owners for the project. Then they turned to the internet to solicit lead artists from throughout Mexico and beyond – Germany, Argentina, the United States. The chosen artists were housed with neighbors, neighbors who also rose to the occasion to prepare potluck feasts spread out as buffets for the starving teams of artists who gathered for meals in Colleen’s patio. Youths of the community were given the opportunity to join and work under the tutelage of more experienced artists.
Here are some of the results:
Look for more photos of murals in Colonia Guadalupe in Part Three.