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¡Arte en la Calle! Celebrates Six Years of Colonia Guadalupe Becoming an Art District

Art On The Street

By C. Eltons

Colonia Guadalupe was a very different place in April 2013, when municipal authorities first gave permission for legal street art to exist in the neighborhood. Today it is covered with murals by local, national, and international street artists. With the first Muros en Blanco Festival, the neighborhood became officially designated as the Muros en Blanco Distrito de Arte, San Miguel’s first and only “arts district.”

Six years later, the neighborhood has blossomed, becoming an energetic and bustling place with a variety of restaurants, shops, art studios, galleries, and the hugely popular Gil’s Tienda. Along calle Margarito Ledesma, Via Organica’s mercado rural brings together friends, neighbors, and visitors every first Sunday of the month to enjoy local organic products, artisans, and plenty of places to sit down for a meal. Nearly every street throughout the neighborhood has been adorned with colorful murals painted by local, national, and international artists.

Now the people who helped turn the neighborhood into the art district it is today are celebrating Guadalupe’s evolution with ¡Arte en la Calle!—an outdoor collaborative exhibit to be led by local artists Colleen Sorenson and Jesús Valenzuela (also known as Juice E), both important figures in the creation of the Muros en Blanco art district. The event takes place Sunday, April 7, around the corner from Via Organica restaurant’s monthly mercado rural.

As part of this event, Sorenson will apply thousands of pieces of handmade mosaic tile to each piece of her graffiti art created since 2005, teaming up with Valenzuela’s painting in aerosol for ¡Los Perros!, a collection of colorful portraits in tile of Sorenson’s four-legged pals. Valenzuela, now at university studying architecture, will also exhibit a collection of engravings on copper plates. A third artist, Carlos E Gallardo, from Queretaro, will show off his collection of mixed media.

Before Sorenson convinced the city to declare colonia Guadalupe an official art district, street art of any kind was not permitted in San Miguel de Allende. The exceptions, of course, were painted altars and shrines dedicated to the Virgin of Guadalupe scattered throughout many neighborhoods. But as soon as a street art mural went up, Desarrollo Urbano (the Urban Development Department) was sure to stop by, insisting that the property owner paint it over, as it was “not permitted.” Sorenson began pushing for legal street art in 2012 and became the founder of the Muros en Blanco Distrito de Arte.

Valenzuela was an important participant from the very beginning: his mural on calle Maria Felix is from 2013, and he has since painted numerous murals around San Miguel, including for independent projects with the La Calaca Festival.

 

Art

¡Arte en la Calle!

Sun, Apr 7, 12–4pm

Mario Talavera at Margarito Ledesma

 

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