Isla Mujeres Mystery ~ Lynda L. Lock

Isla explodes with creativity and colour!

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Artist: Saner, on Palacio Municipal      Photo L.Lock
In an explosion of colour and mythical creatures the Sea Walls – Murals for Oceans project blasted its way onto Isla Mujeres. 

Fifteen artists from USA, Mexico, Japan, New Zealand, Australia and Spain arrived on Isla in mid-July for the start of a nine day urban art festival. 

The event would eventually see the creation of a multitude of eye-popping murals decorating blank walls of various public and private buildings.

Pangeseed: protection of endangered marine life
Ruben Perez, the Director of Culture for the Municipality of Isla Mujeres was approached last February by the sponsoring organization asking for assistance for the program; assistance gaining permission to paint specific walls on public and private buildings.  In conjunction with Pangeaseed, World Art Destinations, 1XRUN, Residencia Gorila, and Juxtapoz Latin America supplied the funding to make the event happen. is an international organization that collaborates with members of the art, science, and environmental activist communities to raise awareness of sharks and other marine species in peril.

Artists – on FB page of Sea Walls for Oceans
When I asked “why Isla Mujeres” as a location for this amazing project Liz Rashell Creative Director at World Art Destinations said the project organizers “chose Isla Mujeres, México cause Isla Mujeres serves as the nursery of the Caribbean and is on the migratory path of whale sharks, manta rays, sea turtles and large schools of fish.” That sounds to me like a great reason to celebrate with colour and beauty. 
Artist: Pelucas, on Guerrero  Photo L. Lock

As inspiration for the murals the artists were taken out to swim with the whale-sharks and manta rays, to give them an idea of how big, and how benign these gorgeous creatures are. And then the fun began! Spraying, painting, daubing in temperatures hovering around 32C the artist brought to life their fantasy creatures, depicting a wild assortment of marine life and of course our world famous whale-sharks.

We, and a number of other islanders, have spent the last two weeks trying to locate and photograph all of the murals. 

It’s a bit like a scavenger hunt – as the website map is more of a suggestionwhere the images might be found. Driving around in centrocan be a bit hazardous at the best of times because the one-way-street system is very poorly marked. Add to that rubber-necking art enthusiasts who are attempting to snap photos while driving past the working artists. It got a bit interesting at times. 

Artist: Cinzah Seekayem on Madero    Photo L. Lock

I resorted to sitting in the back of the golf cart while Lawrie drove, allowing me to take photos as we located the murals.  Finally I found the last one I was looking for painted high up on the Hotel Osorio on Madero Street. 

It’s a fun painting called “The Traveler” by Cinzah Seekayem. The mural faces west on a one-way street but it see it requires twisting your neck around and up. 

To take the photo I had to park the golf cart, climb up on the front grill and balance on one foot – I have a broken toe on my right foot so I couldn’t put any pressure on that foot. (The silly stuff we do to take photos for this blog!)
Artists: Local students across from school  Photo L. Lock
In amongst the official murals are a few that were done by other artists joining in the fun. The one near the middle school appears to be a collection of complimentary images painted by sixteen local students. 

It a vivid mural done in orange, pink and green depicting Mayan ancestors, whale-sharks, manta rays, and sailfish. It is one of our favourites, although truth be told we like them all!
Artist: Curiot at the entrance to Mercado  Photo L. Lock
The fifteen artists had such a good time on Isla Mujeres, they are willing to return next year with more artists to paint more murals!  Wow! If they run out of blank spaces to fill – we would happily volunteer an exterior wall of our house.
Thank you Tristan Eaton, Tatiana Suarez, Vexta, Saner, Smithe , Nosego, Curiot, Meggs, Aaron Glasson, Shark Toof, Hannah Stouffer, Pelucas, Cinzah Seekayem, Yoh Nagao, and Celeste Byers adding colour and fun to our island.
Artist: NoseGo on back of Mercado  Photo L. Lock
Hasta Luego
Lynda & Lawrie

Artist: Tatiana Suarez official web photo


One Reply to “Isla explodes with creativity and colour!”

  1. Another interesting, colorful, and informative post, Lynda. Receiving a “postcard” from Isla in my inbox always brings a smile to my face. I also appreciate your adding my blog, MEXICO AND BEYOND: LAURA'S PHOTO JOURNEY, to your blog list. The following link is to my Street Art in Mexico posting which your followers might also enjoy. Gracias y nos vemos pronto! Laura



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