A man pulls a produce cart past one of the existing murals at the Mexico City market. A man pulls a produce cart past one of the existing murals at the Mexico City market.

Mexico City market mural project enters second stage

It will make the Central de Abasto the largest open-air art gallery in Latin America

The second stage of an ambitious mural project that will turn the walls of Mexico City’s largest wholesale market into Latin America’s largest open-air art gallery is under way in earnest.

When the Central de Muros project is completed, 9,000 square meters of walls at the Central de Abasto (Supply Center) will be covered with colorful urban art.

Itze González, director of the We Do Things collective — which is coordinating the project — said that a total of 50 Mexican and international artists will complete 39 murals as part of the second phase.

The paintings will be between 20 and 26 meters wide and six meters high and are expected to be completed by the beginning of August.

The United Nations (UN) is also participating in the project and each of the murals will in some way integrate the organization’s 17 sustainable development goals in order to raise awareness of them.

Experienced Mexican artist Gabriel Macotela has been designated goal 16 — Peace, Justice and Strong Institutions — while other themes that will be featured include life below water, climate action, gender equality, clean water and and end to hunger.

“The aim of these global goals is to eradicate poverty, protect the planet and ensure the prosperity of everyone as part of a new agenda of sustainable development,” said Giancarlo Summa of the UN Mexico Information Center.

The first stage of the project started last September and involved the painting of 24 murals that celebrated the 35th anniversary of the market.

The head of the Central de Abasto Trust, Sergio Palacios Trejo, said the impact of the project had been positive because people have stopped throwing trash against the painted walls and none of the murals had been vandalized. It has also made the market more colorful and welcoming.

González said the murals have also made the market safer and that because members of the community participated in their creation, they have also helped to protect them from vandalism.

As part of the project’s second stage, two art workshops will be held including one in which children will have the opportunity to learn about and try their hand at creating urban art.

Artists that will paint new murals at the market, which is located in the eastern borough of Iztapalapa, include Hows, BeoHake, UNEG, Chula Records, Los Calladitos and Japanese artist Kenta Torii.

Source: Milenio (sp), El Universal (sp)

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