Street art has no admission fees. It’s accessible to everyone, and everything is on display outdoors in the fresh air. Murals and the artists who create them are storytellers, revealing heart and soul crafted with a spray can and a ladder.
It’s not a stretch to consider street art and murals as the highest elevation of storytelling graffiti, born of a desire to share one’s tales. We know that 17,000 years ago, artists drew exceptionally realistic images of large animals to decorate Palaeolithic-era cave walls in the Vézère Valley of southwestern France. Contemporary street art can be iconic, like a must-see Banksy, or hidden down a narrow alleyway where you’d least expect it. As a bonus, there’s the serendipity of the unexpected.
Meet Ruben Rojas, co-founder of the international nonprofit Beautify Earth, who traded in the suit and tie for overalls and a paintbrush. By building a community of artists to transform unsightly blank walls into canvases for messages that empower and uplift us, the mission is to ignite creativity, stimulate new dialogues and inspire others to see our world through the lens of love.
Here’s a shout-out to urban street art that isn’t typically found in guidebooks. It gives us reason to just pause, have a look and smile.