- Words and Photos by John Domine and Kristy Calabro
The Walls of Akumal: A Bridge to Possibilities
Arriving back in NYC after a week of art and culture in Akumal, Mexico, we are overwhelmed by the beauty that was created, the smiles that were shared, and the community that was enlivened by all the efforts of the Akumal Arts Festival. It truly took a village to create such a positive space of love and respect, and we are all better for it.
The Opening Ceremonies began with a greeting by Mayan leaders, welcoming us over the bridge into the pueblo. Crossing that bridge, a metaphor of love and hope and beauty, was the perfect way to kick off an event which brought artists from all over the world to a small pueblo in Mexico. It was through a place of love that this community began to shine.
THE AKUMAL ARTS FESTIVAL 2018 MAP
If you plan to visit Akumal yourself to check out all of the incredible walls, we have created a couple maps to make things easier for you. In addition, all of the works will be added to the Street Art Cities app, which, as you know, is a veritable bible of locations for art all over the world, and a partner to us here at SOLD Magazine.
The first map is for the murals created on the bridge, and the second map is for those walls painted in the pueblo itself.
THE BRIDGE MAP
We have organized the murals painted on the walls of the bridge into 4 quadrants, two quadrants on the Playa (beach) Side of the carretera (highway) and two on the Pueblo Side.
To download the Bridge Art Map pdf, click here.
NORTHEAST WALLS (Playa Side)
Featured on the Northeast Walls is a collaboration by Nubian, Arkane and Primal Graphic(above), as well as works by Skela, Dirk, CPWon, Sinned & Ria, Davel (David Lavernia), Kid Crayon and Peachzz, 45RPM & Voyder, Tarboxx and Annatomix.
SOUTHEAST WALLS (Playa Side)
The artists of the Southeast Walls include Grooseling (above), Amy Frueh, Cosmo, Marianela La Wife, Alex Yopra, Cecilia Paints, Ramiro Davaro-Comas, Cultura Calle, Winniemmay, and Raul Sheick.
UNDER THE BRIDGE
There are two murals below the bridge; one by Dan Q on the Playa Side,
and one by Nomad Clan on the Pueblo Side.
NORTHWEST WALLS (Pueblo Side)
On the Northeast Walls, there are several artists from the UK, including Jim Vision and Qubek (above), Seca One and Pawski, Jake Klone (not pictured due to early work in progress), Olas, and Zenor.
Laura Le Houerou was a late addition.
SOUTHWEST WALLS (Pueblo Side)
On the Southwest Walls of the bridge, we see the works of Destroy Order (above), Melhor Cryz, Nate Dee, Funqest, Julia Rose Morgan, Pluzbrut, Kiptoe, Damien Mitchell, and ienacruz.
THE PUEBLO MAP
Within the Akumal Pueblo, there are beautiful walls to be discovered, scattered around the village. Some are immediately visible on the main road, while others can be seen at the public schools or at La Cancha, the basketball court and gathering space in the center of the pueblo. Still others are down lesser-traveled roadways. This map should make things easier for you.
To download the pdf file of the Pueblo Art Map so that you can view it or print it out, click here.
THE PUEBLO WALLS
Covering walls all around the pueblo are works by Ivan Roque, Kelly Heaton, Jane Mutiny, Jana Liptak,
Jake Klone, Jackie Neon & Rory Eade, Hello Chingu, Funqest, Erin Ko, Emma Rubens, Dtore, Dino Perez, Jonathan Villoch, Delilah Benitez, Deity, Davel and Ivan Roque, Dan Moreno, Danielle Mastrion, Charly Gil,
Art of Safety First, Alejandra, Suzanne Gray, Sergio Gamboa, Reuben Cheatem, 45RPM & Voyder,
Ricky Hernandez, Rigo Leon, Rif Raf Giraffe, Registered Artist, Ramiro Davaro-Comas, Patricia Fornos, Nubian, Nicole Slagar and Chuck Berrett, Nate Dee, Natasha May Platt, Nadya Voynovskoya,
Ms. Yellow, Justin Suarez, Chelsea Rose, and Kid Crayon.
EXPLORE THE BEAUTY FOR YOURSELF!
Akumal is a place of great beauty, and not just because of all the colorful walls, but also the spirit of the people who live here. Do yourself a favor and visit the the pueblo to discover what a magical place it is.
If you have a sense of adventure and an open heart, there is beauty around every corner!
Thanks so much to the organizers of the Akumal Arts Festival, especially Jennifer Smith and Jake Klone for their passion and support throughout the event. Thanks also to Rena Gray for inviting us to be part of this celebration of culture and art.
And thank you to all the other staff, especially Erin Ko, Paul Sanchez-Navarro, Marti Johnson, Kerra Bolton.
It was an amazing experience, and we look forward to returning next year to share in the creativity and love.
May this be the first of many festivals for the Akumal community.