I am a big fan of mural art. For some reason, I don’t really enjoy museums. I’ve always had this crazy idea that art can’t be contained between walls, that it needs to be a part of our every day life, incorporated in things we see and touch, to remind us that life itself should be filled with wonder! Here in Reno Nevada, they are strong advocates of everything artsy. I think this is one of the top reasons I love the city so much. I am here for an entrepreneur exchange program and I must admit that, when I first learned that I was placed in Reno, I got a little disappointed. Mainly because when you look up Reno online, all you see is the casinos everywhere. I hate the idea of casinos… Turns out, for some years now, there has been a strong movement in this city to slowly replace casinos with more cultural events! Plus, the fact that I have been placed at Artown, a company devoted to bring cultural festivals to the city throughout the whole month of July has opened my artistic eye even more. Among the many events I’ve had the pleasure to attend, one of my favourites so far is the Art Walk event which I got to experience for free! (the perks of being a YLAI fellow!)
It all started with a gathering at a local coffee shop, the blue Whale, on a sunny saturday morning. I ordered some hot chocolate and introduced myself to the other participants. They were all older than me (between 40 and 70) but this did not bother me at all.
Then the walk started.The day before the Art Walk, my friend Daniela and I had already taken our bicycles to discover some murals but Erick, our guide, started by sharing some interesting information with us.
For example, he explained the difference between a mural and a graffiti. The difference is simply that one is legal and the other is done without permission (illegal). As simple as that. What I found particularly beautiful were the story behind the art, and Erick was great at storytelling. Each piece has a story and reflects what the artist was going through at the time or the way he/she perceived life at that moment.
This mural below of the little girl for example, was done by an artist who’s message was that, even though he worked at a factory, he would always push his little girl to discover the world outside. That nature, was waiting behind the walls.
Most murals only last about 6-12 months until they are replaced by another one. But I think that some carry such a powerful message that they live on even when they are gone
This one below of JFK as a child was created after an artist got tired of seeing ‘I like crack’ on a wall. Can you imagine that even the owner of the building tracked him down to say Thank you? It’s all about replacing the negativity in the world with something more positive and impacting the people who will come in contact with the art. I don’t particularly like the art itself in the JFK portrait but I love the message behind it.
We also stopped at a museum and an antique/costume boutique, which was also fun.
Of course, not all the murals carry a message that I am attracted to. I find some very dark and many carry a message that i find subconsciously too negative. But, like everything in life, it’s all about choosing what we carry with us and what we close the door to.
At the end of the tour, we stopped at the Noble Pie for some pizzas and chicken wings. Again… it was all free for me. And who doesn’t like a free meal?
The chicken wings were one of the best I ever had.
I am so happy that Geraldine and Erick (pictured below) put this event together. I seriously encourage anybody in Reno to participate at one of these events as they open our eyes to another dimension of life!
A travel lover