Artist collective paints the town...rainbow!

Artist collective paints the town...rainbow!

Palmitas1 The hillside neighborhood of Las Palmitas in Pachuca, Mexico has transformed in more ways than one. An artists’ collective known as the Germen Crew has spent the past 14 months painting the facades of a once drab, cement-and-cinder-block town in bright, vibrant hues. More than 200 homes make up this immense, abstract, rainbow-like mural that was painted in an effort to bring the working class-barrio together and change the negative image of the neighborhood.

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The city government-sponsored project, “Pachuca Paints Itself,” began with coaxing homeowners to agree to having their homes painted. Once everyone was on board, each building was whitewashed – a symbol that all the residents are equal – and then covered with more than 5,000 gallons of paint.

The muralists have worked side by side with the residents of Las Palmitas on this project. “Honestly, what surprises me the most is that people are really changing. They are growing – there is more community spirit. People are taking the security of their neighborhood into their own hands,” said project director Enrique Gomez. Gomez, a former gang member turned his own life around when he rededicated his life to muralism and graffiti art.

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Now in the final stages, artists are painting 16,000 square feet of murals along the narrow streets.

The project has been so well received that there are plans to paint another barrio nearby.

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