Those who goes to Jaco today will be amazed by huge animals painted on some of its walls. Although street art has always been present in the city, a project called Artify Jaco has given it a new boost. Behind it is a group of volunteers led by Steward Inverno and Wendy Greenwald. Steward received Pura Inspiration in Jaco himself, and told us about the purpose and characteristics of this great idea:
“El Coleccionista” co-creation between Dulk and Mantra. Photo: Artify jacó.
Nature morte de Morpho (Still Life of Morpho), Mantra. Photo: Artify Jacó.
PI: How would you describe Artify Jaco?
SI: Artify Jacó is a movement to bring more art & community pride to our beachside town in Costa Rica. Our theme is ART. LOVE. NATURE. And through contemporary street art and community initiatives we aim to give Jaco many more reasons to be proud of our great community! This is a community effort and we look to inspire and be inspired! We believe in the power of public art to build a stronger community. We want to encourage more of that in in Jaco.
PI: What role does nature play in the project?
SI: Most people who live in our town or visit Jaco seem to have an affinity for nature. Our art installations are a reminder of the majesty that surrounds us; and a reminder for people to take care of nature. On a higher level, our natural environment is something we all share in Jaco. It can and does create culture and community – we want to celebrate that and encourage it.
Who would dare to paint a mural is an easy job? Dulk in full work. Photo courtesy Artify Jacó.
“The collector”, is a beautiful mural produced by the co-creation between Mantra and Dulk. Photo courtesy Artify Jacó.
PI:How did the collaboration of such diverse artists become possible?
Like most things in life, you just need to start. We had little experience in producing street art installations, but we used the connections and experiences we already had and learned more along the way. One of the first mural artists, Jade Rivera, was very helpful by sharing his personal experiences about painting in other places around the world. He helped us grow and gave us confidence to keep going with Artify Jaco.
Each artist works in their own way with their own goals and expectations. Clear communication with the artists helps to make it a smoother process.
Diego Roa with his work “Vida Sana, Vida Pura”. Photo courtesy of @riseupshots
Gilberto Aquino, next to a fiery fishes schoal. Photo courtesy Artify Jacó
PI: How have you felt people’s feedback?
SI: When we first started, some people were apprehensive, especially the wall owners or the neighbors, as they couldn’t visualize what we were trying to accomplish. But the majority of the public was very positive once the first walls were complete and they could see the results.
People feel pride and take ownership of public art and with that there are many personal opinions, sometimes not 100% positive but we try to just keep moving forward. We bring artists to paint in a variety of styles to inspire and encourage dialogue. Naturally, people pick their favorites and get excited to see what’s coming next.
Social media has also given us a glimpse into how people feel about the art in Jaco. Seeing posts on Instagram describing Jaco as “a town full of art” is so encouraging!
We’ve had artists from around the world contact us and several visit, based on Jaco’s image as an ‘emerging art town’. Helping to foster more creativity here is an incredible thing. The ripple effect of creativity and civic pride is visible throughout our town. More independent art projects, murals, an ever-growing music scene and general beautification projects are happening. All of this adds to the strength of our community.
The work of Fio seen from above. Photo courtesy @riseupshots
PI: What do you dream for the future of Artify?
SI: We can dream that Jaco will become a creative/cultural hub in Costa Rica. One that respects nature and strengthens community. We dream our community will continue to embrace art and it will instill more pride for all that live here. We dream that small actions can create big change.
Finally, we dream of a sustainable source of funding so that each year we can create new projects. Currently we need to do continual fundraising. And of course, that isn’t always the easiest part.
Wings: #buscatusalas #findyourwings
Dourone: Pura Vida.
Danny Herrera: Lapa Azul (Blue Parrot)
Jade Rivera: Legado (Legacy)
Farid Rueda: El baile de la luna (The Moon Dance)
Fio Silva: Tortuga (Turtle)
YIYO: Aves (Birds)
Diego Roa: Vida Sana, Vida Pura (Healthy Life, Pure Life)
Gilberto Aquino: Cardumen (School of Fish)
Roy Graffiti: (Tortuga) Playa Hermosa
DULK: Fragil (Fragile)
MANTRA: Nature morte de Morpho (Still Life of Morpho)
DULK y MANTRA collaboration: El Coleccionista
Vinicio Araya: Ecosystem
*There are many more wings and murals in Jaco painted by other individuals outside of Artify Jaco.
You can follow # artifyjacó on instagram, on facebook or their web to find more information.