On my first walk in my new neighborhood two weeks ago, as I turned a nearby corner, I was greeted by a welcoming message imbedded in tiles on the exterior wall of a private home. I took it as a sign. “Welcome to the Guadalupe neighborhood,” the message reads. “Here there is art in all its streets”:
Now that I’m settled into my new studio apartment on the other side of town in San Miguel de Allende, Mexico, my daily walks have taken me in new directions and opened my eyes to new ways of seeing. Art, I believe, does this for us; it makes us see things differently. It aids in adaptation.
I had, as most of my regular WOW readers know, loved my previous place, my cozy little old “penthouse” and its close proximity to lush Parque Benito Juarez, where I basked in the beauty of verdant nature every day. That has proved to be too long a daily walk in May’s afternoon heat from my new address, so I’ve had to discover new perambulatory joys.
And there are plenty to be found in Colonia Guadalupe, which is known as San Miguel’s “art district.” Here are just a few of the wall murals I’ve discovered so far on my new neighborhood’s streets:
On my walk to the new, closer-to-my-new-home Parque Zefferino, I discovered more whimsical art:
And returning from Zefferino park, on Calle Julian Carrillo, I noticed that the door to Lena Bartula’s “La Huipilista Artspace” was partway open (not open-for-business, I learned, since all art galleries have had to close due to COVID-19, but open for a much-needed cross-breeze in this May heat). I stepped inside.
Suitably masked and socially distanced, Lena gave me a private viewing of her latest installation, including a collection of dramatic, oversized face masks she’s making (“in my isolation,” she told me) from ethnic fabrics she’s collected from around the world.
“As momentos of the coronavirus?” I asked her.
“Yes, the way it’s connecting all of us,” she said.
This one was my favorite:
On another walk, in another direction, I saw more evidence of the coronavirus in (or, I should say, on) art:
One day soon, all of us everywhere hope, we’ll be able to laugh at such artistic antics.
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For information about the murals of Colonia Guadalupe, please contact Colleen Sorenson, founder of Muros en Blanco Distrito de Arte, at StreetArtSMAgto@gmail.com or StreetArtSMA & Colleen Sorenson on Facebook or through her website: www.murosenblanco.com . And for more about artist Lena Bartula’s work, go to: www.lenabartula.com .