Mexic-Arte murals aim to boost Latino presence, patrons

 

She’s Wonder Woman like you’ve never seen her before, with the words “peace,” “justice” and “respect” tattooed in Spanish on her forearm, chest and arm.

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The latest Fifth Street wall mural at Mexic-Arte features a Latina Wonder Woman with an environmental edge who gives passers-by tips on how to use less oil. Street artist Eleanor Herasimchuk, also known as Niz, is among the local artists who are part of the Mexic-Arte Museum’s El Mero Muro mural project. (Contributed by Sixto Juan Zavala)

The reimagined superhero, brought to life by stencil artist Eleanor Herasimchuk (better known as Niz), fiercely watches over downtown Austin from the Fifth Street and Congress Avenue wall on which she’s been painted.

Herasimchuk’s take on Wonder Woman is part of a new round of innovative, bilingual murals featured on Mexic-Arte Museum’s Fifth Street wall project called El Mero Muro. Museum officials expect to unveil at least seven new murals throughout the year aimed at boosting the Latino presence downtown and attracting new patrons after a 2015 report by market research firm Contemporanea found that many Latinos felt that museums across the country felt unfriendly, uninviting and expensive.

“While museums are broadly acknowledged as educational institutions, the personal relevance and importance of these institutions has not been established for many Latinos surveyed,” according to the report.

With a prominent Fifth Street wall that, according to Mexic-Arte, catches the eye of more than 35,000 drivers each day, the cultural arts museum knew it had a unique opportunity to address some of the report’s findings in a highly visible way.

“People say that downtowns are the living room of a community,” said Sylvia Orozco, the museum’s executive director. “We all need to feel welcome when we’re in the living room. People need to know that this is a place for them, and if they come in they’ll see and connect even more.” …

We’re starting to bring the Austin Arts blog up to date with recent and still relevant arts stories.

This is part of Nancy Flores’ article on graffiti at Mexic-Arte Museum.


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