If you like to visit great museums and galleries when you are traveling, then no doubt you will be visiting the likes of New York City, Paris, London, Rome, and Florence. Between these 5 cities alone there are thousands of museums and galleries featuring some of the finest works ever created.
However, what if you grow tired of spending so much time indoors and traveling from museum to museum? Yes, you are seeing amazing artwork, but you may also be missing some of the newest and most exciting works that are happening right now on the city streets.
Street art is enriching and enlivening the cities where we live and visit. There is something magical about walking down a street, turning a corner, and running into a huge, striking, and somewhat evocative painting. Only it’s on the side of a building or an old city wall instead of hanging in a gallery. There are no admission fees. It’s outside and available to everyone.
Street art can completely change the vibe of an area. A neighborhood with old concrete buildings is transformed by the color and beauty of art. As people walk the city, they become inspired and uplifted. Outdoor art can create a community’s sense of place and identity – with each town or city even having its own unique works and style of street art.
But street art is much more than just about beautifying a city. It’s also a way to share the values of a community. This powerful art form can be impactful and an effective form of communication, especially with political and social issues, whether they be local or global.
Since the Russian invasion of Ukraine, street art supporting the Ukrainian resistance has appeared everywhere from Kyiv to Syria. Street art has become a universal voice against Russian oppression and draws a great deal of attention to the injustice and the atrocities that occur daily in this struggle.
Another example of powerful political street art is the Berlin Wall - once a symbol of division - it is now a large open-air gallery featuring 105 murals by artists from across the globe. It stands as a memorial not only to the reunification of Germany, but to the reunification of central, eastern, and western Europe.
European cities and towns offer so much with their rich and ancient history, their gorgeous architecture, amazing museums, and of course, the fantastic food. But don’t overlook the street art scene. If you truly want to get a glimpse of a place and see it through the lens of “what’s going on now”, look no further than the streets. There are some amazing visual storytellers out there. And street art can say more than what we’re able to say with words. Our eyes are the windows to our souls, and what we see will forever touch our hearts, our minds, and the very depth of our beings. This is the potential power of street art. Street art is powerful, impactful, and important. But most of all, it’s enjoyable.