Puerto Vallarta, Mexico - A wall that does not divide, but brings together, this is what you will find in Puerto Vallarta. In 2012, we watched Natasha Moraga, fondly referred to as "Nat," begin her mission. A plain unattractive wall where the streets of Pino Suarez and Basilio Badillo meet in Old Town came to life under her creative hand.
A magical transformation began in our city that has now graced other walls, plus benches, stairs, sidewalks and anyplace Nat can find to toss her plaster and shape her sparkling, colorful tiles into a story that is different to each beholder.
Pulling in the community of locals, residents and savvy tourists who want to contribute to this beautification, Nat donates her time and materials to most of the murals you will see about town. Her passion is to paint Puerto Vallarta with tiles - and she is finding a way to make it happen.
The art of tile work is a tradition of Mexican culture that reaches back to the mid-sixteenth century. Though there are many styles and methods, color seems to be the delightful foundation that enhances other media, as well, such as the native art of the Huichol and rich embroidered Otomi of many native groups of Central Mexico.
What Nat has done with her reverent benches in the once drab entrance that leads to the pier in Old Town is amazingly enchanting. It has turned an unremarkable area into one of charm and appeal. She gives new meaning to "taking a sow's ear and turning it into a silk purse," and anyone can be a part of the thrilling action of Mosayko Vallarta, Nat's vision of beauty for Puerto Vallarta.
Earlier this year, in celebration of Puerto Vallarta's 100th anniversary, Natasha began her dream project with her brother Daniel Moraga, creating another internationally recognized icon in Puerto Vallarta: El Parque de los Azulejos / Tile Park PV. The huge undertaking of reshaping and transforming Lazaro Cardenas Park is Mosayko Vallarta's largest project to date - and the effort continues every day.
Last season, Nat got the community involved by offering workshops that taught participants how to design and make their own mosaic as part of the project. Many of the students were in the park for days and weeks prior to the workshop studying each and every pillar and coming up with their own unique designs.
Today, all of the pillars in El Parque de los Azulejos have been completed - and they look amazing! - but there is still plenty of work to do, so the workshops will be returning in November for the Fall 2018-Spring season. For more information and workshop dates, visit parqueazulejospv.com.
Sponsorship tiles are also available, and this is a good way to support Nat's dream and to make your mark in Puerto Vallarta - without getting your hands dirty!
This public art installation is all about community and everyone is welcome to be a part of it. To learn more about Tile Park PV, and how you can help, visit parqueazulejospv.com, or send an email to nancy(at)tileparkpv.com
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