The last thing I was expecting to find was street art in Vitoria-Gasteiz. Vitoria’s street art, however, wasn’t in some up-and-coming neighborhood, or found in hidden alleyways, as it always seems to be. It’s out front-and-center, colorful murals splashed around the historic old quarter, making a sharp contrast with the centuries-old buildings surrounding it.
It’s not done by hipsters following in the tracks of street artists like Banksy either. It’s a collective effort by residents of Vitoria that provides a medium for artists to get involved in beautifying their city. They call themselves the IMVG (Itinerario Muralístico Vitoria-Gasteiz) and hold workshops in the summertime for volunteers who want to participate in the process from brainstorm to finished product; residents can even suggest a wall they think would make a great place for a street mural!
Artists Brought Together to Beautify the City
The team is made up of a patchwork of individuals; young university students, established local artists and even an American muralist who has traveled around the world creating similar large-scale mural projects. This is what she had to say about her experience (taken from the IMVG website):
“For more than ten years, I have used my art as a vehicle to represent people and communities whose histories are often lost or unheard, to recreate the spirit of those communities; to tell their stories using richly crafted and emotive imagery; to claim and transform “blighted” spaces into visual affirmation of a communities’ stories; and to create dialogue around some of the most profound issues communities and individuals may face.”
–Michelle Angela Ortiz
I also loved what art student Nadia Beltrán de Lubiano had to say about the project:
“It’s an incredible experience after months or even years have passed since having been way up on a scaffold with people who you make lifelong bonds with, to then see the murals and to realize that, there floating on the wall is where you learned, you grew, doing the thing that you like most of all: dreaming with colors.”
-Nadia Beltrán de Lubiano
I love seeing creativity and community coming together–do you think these street art murals beautify Vitoria as intended?