One of the first things I noticed upon arriving in San Miguel de Allende’s Colonia Guadalupe some days ago, was the colorful artwork on the walls of businesses and homes in the neighborhood. As it happens, the neighborhood was recently designated the first art district in this Unesco World Heritage city. The artwork is still fresh, and it has been a delight to wander the streets of Guadalupe with a camera.
The Muros en Blanco (“Blank Walls”) project opened the Colonia Guadalupe Art District in late March. The urban street art project showcases the work of young artists from around Mexico and from other countries (Chile, Argentina, Canada, Germany and the United States). They were participating in JovenES Expresión, a program in conjunction with local artists to promote the new art district and support tourism in San Miguel de Allende.
A key aim of the project is to channel youthful energy and talent, from graffiti to vibrant art that both artists and the community can take pride in. A street party celebrated the opening of the new art district.
Take a look at some of the fanciful paint jobs these buildings have received! Do you recognize the Mexican themes?
Anita, thanks for this beautiful photo essay on the Muros Blancos of San Miguel. Guadalupe has always been a sweet, rugged, working class neighborhood. I stayed there one summer, just across from the church dedicated to the Virgin of Guadalupe. Walking back home from El Centro, even late at night, I always felt safe in the streets because I knew the quality of my neighbors, their friendly helpfulness, their devotion to their Lady, their work ethic and pride of place. I’d met them early Tuesday and Saturday mornings, all of us in our bathrobes and slippers, carrying out our garbage bags to hand up to the trash truck that arrives at the crack of dawn. Seeing these murals, it is as if the spirit of the people inside the walls has seeped out for public display. Thanks for putting it on record so beautifully!
Thanks for commenting Susan…indeed, Colonia Guadalupe is a lovely place to be, and I’ve enjoyed my stay here very much. Your words help complete the picture of this welcoming neighborhood!
As Susan wrote, you captured these murals so beautifully! They were intended as a counter-balance to what had become increasing incidents of graffitti and gang tagging. The young, hip street artists who spent the weekend creating art on blank walls (donated by home and business owners) no doubt had conversations with some of these vandals, and the net effect, months later, is that none of the murals have been defaced and gang tagging seems to have disappeared. It’s a wonderful example of how creating something positive can override the negative. Thanks so much for documenting this happy story of the power of individuals working together to transform their community!
Now that is real art. The people of Guadalupe must be really artistic. I think I should also try painting my wall now… 🙂
I agree, loved these paintings … and there are more murals I did not include in the post!
Gorgeous murals, I can not wait to see them. Will be staying the month of October.
Lucky you! October should be a wonderful time of year to be in San Miguel 🙂