Photographer Jeremiah Gilbert is the Edge of Humanity Magazine contributor of this documentary photography. From his project ‘Santiago’s Museo a Cielo Abierto’. To see Jeremiah’s body of work click on any image.
Santiago’s Museo a Cielo Abierto (Open Air Museum) is located in the neighborhood of San Miguel and features dozens of enormous murals. These prominent works adorn low-income apartment buildings, rejuvenating the neighborhood as part of a public art project. While a visit to this open air museum takes one farther away from the center of Santiago than typical tourist attractions, it provides a unique opportunity to see world-class artwork from a diverse group of artists, all in one place, for free.
The Museo a Cielo Abierto began as a social and cultural project in 2009 when Roberto Hernández Bravo and David Villarroel Fuentes, two men from San Miguel, hoped to revitalize their deteriorating neighborhood. Together they envisioned a large-scale project unlike anything ever done before in Santiago or in Chile. They formed an organization called Centro Cultural Mixart (Mixart Cultural Center), and together with the help of other community groups and the local government of the municipality of San Miguel, they officially presented and began the project in 2010.
Along with revitalization, the project also aims to educate, featuring murals that deal with themes such as workers’ rights in Chile, and to involve the residents of the neighborhood, who have input in approving the sketches of the murals. The artists involved in this project are diverse in their backgrounds, styles, and nationalities. Local artists from Santiago and regional artists from the south of Chile share the streets with international artists from other countries in South America and in Europe.
Well-known artists contributing to the project include INTI, a Chilean street artist from Valparaíso, who has gained international fame. His artwork has been featured at the Itinerrance gallery in Paris and in the streets of Valparaíso, Paris, and Munich, among other cities. Other well-known artists include Roa, from Belgium, and Seth, from France. Placards accompany the murals, providing titles and artist’s names.
By Jeremiah Gilbert