Goerge Town on the island of Penang is home to some of the most renowned and interactive street art in the world. Going to Malaysia and taking the trek to Penang is like a pilgrimage for street art enthusiasts. Working the pieces into the surrounding environment is something of a specialty for these artists. The work is prominently displayed throughout the town and on the island, but we will be focusing on the city.
Valparaíso is a mecca for those who are on the hunt for good street art destinations in the world. Valparaíso lies on the edge of the Pacific Ocean an easy 90 minutes Northwest of Santiago, Chile. If you are already headed to the seaside town of Viña del Mar, you are a quick 15 minutes away by car, taxi, bus, or train to this heaven for color.
Prior to my arrival in Australia, I had read numerous times that Melbourne was the city to beat when it came to street art down under. So we recruited help from our good friends at Global Greeters to give us a tour. Thus when we found street after street lined with art; I was surprised.
Cape Town has always had a rich cultural history, but the current state of their street art is off the charts. Art has always been used to comment on social issues, and Cape Town is certainly no exception to that. In Cape Town’s Woodstock neighborhood, they are even using street art to burst onto the international scene; with the delight and support of the community. Some cities seem to be used simply as a canvas, but I didn’t get that feeling as I was walking the streets.
Having spent a good deal of my life in the Phoenix area, I have seen it evolve. The Phoenix I knew from 15 years ago, was all about one kind of art and that was southwestern, and for the most part you went to Scottsdale for that. Then phoenix launched a long-term downtown revitalization project. Before you knew it, galleries started popping up all throughout the area. To follow that up the city teamed up with the Phoenix Art Museum and the main branch of the library to create First Friday. On the first Friday of every month all the galleries, the art museum and the library all join forces to put on a night of art for all to enjoy. Not long after that the street art started appearing. On my last visit, we found a nice selection of art and it wasn’t just concentrated in the downtown Roosevelt area, which bodes well for the local art community. The majority of our findings were murals, which is good, as locals tend to be less apprehensive to that style. While street art can be found throughout the city we concentrated on Grand Avenue, Roosevelt Street, and 7th Street all within the confines of downtown.
Arriving in Chiang Mai, I was halfway expecting a bunch of hippies and locals relaxing away with Pad Thai and fruit smoothies. Instead, I found a treasure trove of street art. We spent a fair amount of time on a scooter, as well as wandering on foot in the city. Therefore, we came across a solid representation of art. One of the hotels we stayed at was situated in a little alley system that also yielded quite a few gems. This time, I also tried to keep track of our discoveries, so that we could pass that information onto you. Check the Google map here, for that information. If you are interested in looking at more street art, click here. If you would like to see my street art guide, click here.