For this passion blog entry, I wanted to write about my neighborhood. Sounds boring, right? Think again…
I live in Santurce, also known as, Puerto Rico’s art district. Santurce is the home of two of Puerto Rico’s major art museums, the Center of Performing Arts, many small theatres, and hipster restaurants and coffee shops. The best part about my neighborhood is that a lot of buildings are works of art.
“Santurce es Ley” is an annual cultural festival that celebrates local artists, music, and restaurants. For this festival, Puerto Rican artists volunteer to create a mural on different building around Santurce for the enjoyment of the community. The festival is located on Cerra Street, which is two streets down my house.
“Santurce es Ley” directly translates to Santurce is law. This supports the idea that graffiti and painting on buildings is not vandalism, it is art. Urban art is popular nowadays and many cities feature their own street art. Personally, I believe street art is a way to demonstrate culture and to beautify the city.
The murals are creative expressions of historic, cultural, and social aspects of Puerto Rico and society in general. Some of the historic murals include topics like the colonization period and a huge political revolution that happened in 1868. The cultural murals have properties of food, dance, wardrobe and way of life. The murals that present social problems, for me, are the most interesting. They portray negative characteristics of today’s society such as greed and excess capitalism.
I love that these murals decorate my neighborhood because it makes doing everyday chores, like going to Walmart, less boring. Every day I drive by Cerra Street (because that is the way to connect to the highway) and admire these works of art. I think it is fantastic that the artists behind this event want to inculcate to everyone that art can be anything the artists wants it to be.