Puerto Vallarta, Mexico - After three weeks of meticulous work, local artist Elodia Jiménez has completed a colorful mural on the interior wall of the "small" tunnel that leads from the Libramiento to the Emiliano Zapata neighborhood.
The 210 square meters features fruits that are native to the region. "The idea of this mural is to give importance to the natural wealth that exists in Puerto Vallarta and to work with the iconography of coconut oil, bananas and flora that is related to the history of our city," explained the self-taught artist, who began her training in the workshops of the Cuale Cultural Center.
With the unveiling of the Elodia Jiménez mural, the artistic intervention project within what's popularly known as the "small tunnel" has been completed in both directions, as part of the large-format art in public spaces program promoted by the municipal government, through the Vallarta Institute of Culture (IVC).
"At the IVC we think it is very important to rescue these spaces and transform them into large canvases," IVC director Marina de los Santos Álvarez said. "Urban art is increasingly present in large cities, conquering people from various sectors and social classes, uniting people and giving them a sense of belonging to society, while democratizing art and humanizing public spaces," she added.
She explained that last February, Veracruz artist Lucía Prudencio intervened in the opposite direction of the tunnel with a bicolor floral mural. "What we did in these two directions of the small tunnel is to reflect what Puerto Vallarta is: its colors and flavors with flowers and fruits entirely from the region," said De los Santos.
The constant flow of vehicles through this tunnel forced the artist to work during the early morning hours. In order to facilitate her work, the support of other municipal agencies was essential, such as the directorates of Citizen Security, Public Services and Maintenance of Assets and Administration, as well as the subdirectorate of Roads and the heads of the Markets and Public Lighting departments.
"The proposal of the Vallarta Institute of Culture, to give life to a space that can be very dark, I really liked," said the artist. "We saw people passing by when the tunnel was closed and they appreciated that this was changing and were excited to see it finished. Adding color to this space and making the mural completely changed the feeling of the neighborhood."
The next IVC urban art project will be carried out in coordination with local artists and the Urban Farms Owners of Puerto Vallarta Union. It will focus on an artistic intervention at the entrance of Abasolo, one of the streets that leads up to the Cerro de la Cruz viewpoint, in the city's center.