Wednesday, September 2, 2015

Mexican town repaints itself

Thanks to Night Flight, I came across this story about how art can legitimately change people's lives for the better.

It involves the Palmitas neighborhood of Pachuca, Mexico and an art collective that calls themselves the German Crew. Working together with residents, the artists repainted the exteriors of the homes in the area to turn the neighborhood into Mexico's largest mural. With over 5,000 liters of paint, the cooperative turned otherwise drab facades into swirling patterns of bright lavender, lime green, and incandescent orange. It's even more impressive than that, however. This act of painting had an additional effect.

As the article puts it, "Las Palmitas" had a reputation as a crime-riddled area, the kind of place you wouldn't want to be after dark. People, including a few gang members, worked together on the art and in doing so, interacted with one another. They got to know each other and even worked on the painting into the night. This has worked so well that a neighboring community wants its own paint job, too.

It just doesn't get more "street art" than this.

There is just so much here that people can take a lesson from. Art is all about what it means to be human. We see this writ large in the Palmitas example. So the argued addition of Art into the STEM rigmarole is obvious. While there's not exactly data to support it, it seems that art in this case does indeed change people's mindsets and attitudes. Hopefully the same can be said for attitudes towards street art, murals, and "constructive graffiti" for lack of a better phrase. Gee, think this art stuff might have a valuable place in the educational system and the world overall?

Face it. Art is a valuable part of life.

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