If ya’ll have been paying ANY attention to my Instagram feed… you know I’m a sucker for murals and wall art. I deliberately seek them out when I travel! Lucky for me, San Miguel de Allende is positively littered with them.
And during my five weeks in SMA, I had the joy of seeing more than a hundred murals across the “colonias” (neighborhoods). (I would like to extend a huge thank you to Waylon Hedegaard, host of the “Fat Bastard Art Walks,” who took me outside the touristy El Centro into side streets and hidden alleys, to see these bountiful works of art!)
I grew up in an artistic household; my mom painted, sculpted, and made macrame, and obviously, I’m a writer — so I have somewhat of an obsession with all things expression. But I’m not an art critic or expert of any kind — these are just some of the murals that moved me during my 5-week stay in San Miguel de Allende. Plus, if you decide to visit them all (maybe not all in the same day on foot, unless you love to walk), you’ll get to experience the colonias of SMA outside of El Centro, where tourists tend not to spend a lot of time in… but where the community’s heart beats.
I do want to recognize these artists — not only for their creativity and their incredible dedication to their craft, but their decision to express themselves in places that are accessible for many to see and appreciate — the streets people walk every day. To make this even more special, the artists who paint or spray in San Miguel de Allende typically supply their own paints and are seldom paid for their public works of art!
(Below is one logical route if doing this art walk in order, but feel free to visit these murals in any order you like!)
1. Flowery embrace – by Eduardo Mireles
Let’s start in the colonia of Infonavit Malanquin, specifically, the tunnel underneath highway 51. There is a lot of beautiful art in this tunnel, all commissioned by the city some years ago — it’s like a roadway gallery! One of my favorites in the tunnel is this one. Who doesn’t appreciate seeing two people madly in love amid a bed of flowers and hummingbirds? Awww. [IMAGE ABOVE]
2. Girl looking back – by Merle
I just love her proud expression and fierce eyebrows.
Nearby, tucked into a little cluster of apartments, you’ll find this giant tropical jungle scene — it’s a lot of fun seeing these creatures painted in a highland semi-arid desert!
4. Blind girl who senses the world – by Eksa
Traipse over to the San Antonio colonia and take in this work of art that turns a corner and spans almost an entire block, next to a school for the blind — it portrays a girl who experiences the world through sound and touch — and quite a vivid world indeed.
5. Sunflower woman – by Hebs
Look closely… when viewing this mural from a certain angle, watch the nearby power pole blend effortlessly into the scene. So cool!
6. Colorblock horses – by MJ
This one just ellicits happiness in me. Plus, ain’t my dog Penny the cutest?
7. Indigenous superhero – by La India
Head over to the Olimpo neighborhood, and check out this depiction of an indigenous woman powerful and strong. I love that the youth of the area get to see images of female empowerment and strength like this.
Speaking of female empowerment, this massive mural was commissioned by the city for International Women’s Day 2021 in the Independencia colonia. Five of the city’s female muralists worked together and combined their unique talents to celebrate women and the feminine mystique.
9. Frida mosaic – by Juan Eduardo
Not a mural, but a mosaic! The artistry is just incredible, and obviously Frida Kahlo is a Mexican icon.
10. Girl with bird – by Gabo
Now in the Guadalupe colonia… this one is just too freakin’ cool, and I love the colors and uniqueness.
Another amazing example of incorporating the landscape into wall art! The woman depicted here has a halo of shrubbery for hair. Very creative.
12. Bird skeleton – by unknown
Heading over to the San Luis Rey colonia, here you see a living bird and a bird skeleton in a desert scene. In Mexico, death is depicted regularly in art — especially the duality of life and death.
13 . Three birds – by unknown
Similar to the earlier scene, these three birds — two living, one dead (the dead one not pictured) — signify the circle of life. I kind of like this realistic outlook, and the birds are just beautiful.
This is just the tip of the iceberg when it comes to the amazing murals of San Miguel. I encourage you to turn corners and peek down alleyways. There are hundreds of colorful scenes scattered all across this town, and you will discover your own favorites.
Note, this blog was written in February 2022. Murals tend to have a lifespan of 5-8 years, but could be painted over at any time. Hopefully, with something else new and special in its place! And maybe, just maybe… I’ll keep adding to this list. ☺️
If you do this walk, let me know which ones were your favorite (you’re going to see a lot of others, too)! Write me a comment or send me a DM on Instagram, and enjoy the beautiful city of San Miguel de Allende!
If you would like to hire an English-speaking, licensed tour guide to take you around (many more!) murals and to share the history of San Miguel, I highly recommend Isabel Mor. She can be reached at +52 4151149737 or at email@example.com. Tell her I sent you!
“The world always seems brighter when you’ve just made something that wasn’t there before.” – Neil Gaiman
View mural locations on Google Maps: https://www.google.com/maps/placelists/list/G_w4LKtRRSeBhSGgjfZUUw