Wednesday, August 12, 2015

Making lemonade out of lemons!

While lost in San Miguel de Allende on Saturday, I happened upon a street that I recognized, but had not been on in at least a year. 

It had always had a long, long grey concrete wall with tons of graffiti.  It was the back wall of a lovely condo complex, but the back wall looked horrible.

Imagine my surprise when I saw what had happened recently to this space.
 It has now become a wall of art that enhances the street with beautiful color and drawings.
A few years ago, a woman, Colleen Sorenson decided to do something to enhance the Colonia she lived in.  That is Colonia Guadalupe.  There are many, many street art pieces throughout the colonia now.  In fact, it has been designated an art district!
 A call went out for well known street artists to come to San Miguel to paint this wall in their own style.  I don't know if there were other parameters.  It is well done, in my humble opinion.
This is my favorite.  It would appear to me that this person is an illustration artist by the amount of detail in
his panel of work.
To me it seems that it was a brilliant idea to cover the bare, grey concrete wall with art that lends itself to the culture of Mexico.

Walk around in Col. Guadalupe.  You'll be amazed at the talent and artistic ability of all of these people.

It's kinda like making lemonade out of lemons.............The other interesting bit of information I"ve been told that when there is street art, there is no tagging or vulgar graffiti.    Viva Mexico!


Droelma said...

I am so glad that so many things have changed for the better in SMA.
When I spent time there ( before 1991) in my little place on Calle Aldama I had a friend who had a lot of trouble with people messing up the walls of her garden facing the street.

She was an artist and decided to have a very beautiful mural painted to maybe avoid all those inappropriate messages as well as just meaning less stuff that destroyed the good looks of her home. The mural consisted of flowers depicted in a mural style. She was threatened with a high fine by the city and had 60 days to " white wash" her wall.
She did and within a week is was messed up again. She informed the officials and asked if they preferred murals or messy walls and never got any kind of response.
I am really glad that things are different now.

Babs said...

Interesting commentary Droelma. This could not have been done in the Centro Historico where you previously lived. There, even the color of the walls is regulated by the code which is part of the UNESCO World Heritage requirements.

And, graffiti and tagging does still happen in areas. However, about 12 years ago a program was started by a group of gringoes who asked the paint companies to donate paint and asked the city to donate two employees. Now when there IS graffiti, it is covered within 48 hours. That dissuades the vandalism. We have an email address to notify the city when we see it, and they take care of the rest!

Great program. I had a bit on my wall last week. First time ever, but I keep extra paint and covered it immediately. No more so far.

Peter Kouwenhoven said...

I love street art like this. vancouver is becoming more artsy on the public walls lately. More art, less tagging is a good thing.

Babs said...

Indeed, Peter. More art less tagging is so good. I love Vancouver. I thought and think it is an absolutely beautiful, unique city. I'm sure you enjoy living there!

Droelma said...

I am not sure how I feel about overly restrictive rules by UNESCO, but am fairly certain when this happened to my friend ( 1989 or '90 ) UNESCO rules were not involved yet.
Still, I think that a lot of positive has been done which makes SMA a better, safer and more beautiful place.
In my times cars were allowed everywhere and on weekends cars full of young men from places outside of SMA would come and cruise the streets of the Centro with 5-6 to a car to look for " weekend adventures " with single " Northern " women. Adding to that all the traffic from the Captial it was often next to impossible to cross Aldama, which is really a narrow street, or to get from the Paroquia to the Zocalo.
Just getting rid of car traffic on the weekend is a wonderful thing !
Anyway, I think SMA is the better for it and often I wish I had not sold my

Babs said...

Droelma, SMA did not get World Heritage Site designation until 2008, but was a Mexican Heritage site for many, many years. I would have loved to have been in SMA in the early days. A friend who moved here as a child in 1955 has glorious stories to tell of how it was when there were 2 cars and 1 phone, in the jardin with 1 operator!

IF you still owned your house on Aldama, it's worth would probably be over a million, depending on size and address!

Joan said...

When we were there in summer of 1978 we decided there were 11 cars!
We got a kick out of watching them buzz around the jardin!
Sure miss those days in Mexico and for that matter, Europe too.

Babs said...

Oh Joan, I wish I had been here then! I've seen photos. It was nothing like
it is today.........Eleven cars, how wonderful.

I'm glad I saw many parts of Mexico starting in the early 70's. Where you saw way more indigenous people then gringoes, for sure!

Retired Teacher said...

It's wonderful that these once graffiti-covered walls are now works of art. And even better that the taggers respect the artwork and don't deface it.