Inspiring street art and community roots
Over the past year, the Institute has published a number of stories about murals, public art and the power of art and culture in communities.
So I was intrigued to see a website dedicated to “exploring the power of Public Art and innovation to uplift and revitalize urban communities.” I was even more interested when I learned about the project that site documents.
Here Comes the Neighborhood is a series of very short documentary videos about the “The Wynnewood Walls,” a set of parking lots, loading docks and factory walls in a depressed section of Miami.
Starting in 2009, the area has been transformed with “high caliber” murals from street artists from around the world to create a kind of town square, an outdoor museum of street art and graffiti.
It’s similar to the kind of public art we’ve written about.
But we have focused on local artists and how the work directly leads to helping the community. At Here Comes the Neighborhood, the emphasis is squarely on the international artists and their work.
If you want some inspiration for how such large-scale, vibrant art can change a neighborhood’s look, check out the imagery on the Wynnewood Walls.
But the videos barely mention the community at all, and its unclear how the new art is improving the lives of local residents. So to add that inspiration, check out our recent articles about public art.
Arts energizes communities: In Kansas City, Kansas, young artists painted murals on the garage doors that lead to a community garden. Now kids on their bikes whiz down the alley as it gets dark to see the murals, setting off the solar-powered, motion-censored lights that illuminate the path and showcase the art.
Turning foreclosed homes into works of art: Artist Lydia Stein has overseen the painting of murals on the facades of ten homes left vacant when their owners could no longer pay the mortgage in Providence, Rhode Island.
Murals: Making a statement, building community: This overview of the community mural movement includes two of the most distinctive and ambitious efforts, the Heidelberg Project in Detroit and the Mural Arts Program in Philadelphia.
Using the arts to strengthen neighborhoods: Jackie Samuels, a community organizer in Chicago, writes about her work incorporating the arts into three of the city’s neighborhoods, and what art can offer community development.
Posted in Arts & Culture, Thinking Out Loud