Museo Cielo Abierto
There’s lots that’s unique about Santiago’s Museo al Cielo Abierto San Miguel, a place where art, history and everyday life come together in the heart of a community, make a living museum in the open air. Beyond the city’s two best known and more classic museums (the Museo de la Memoria and the recently reopened PreColombian Museum), it’s part of what’s making the city such a cultural hotspot these days.
The museum started as the brainchild of two local men in an attempt to revitalise what was at the time a fairly delapidated neighbourhood of Santiago. Taking the blank rectangular concrete walls of the residential apartment blocks as their canvas, and bringing together artists from around Chile and further afield, they created an open-air museum of over 40 murals, and then wove the collaboration of the local community into the running of the project. Local residents are involved in deciding what painting goes where, in looking after them, replacing or fixing those which weather or crumbling concrete have eroded, or even in offering their own kiosks and shops to be painted upon. Witness the photo of the bakery incorporated into the huge bread mural above.
A path links each one of the murals, giving information about the artists and the giant works of art. It’s a fascinating walk and way to dig into a different side of the city – a living and lived-in community and neighbourhood.
Carola Fresno is our proud Chilean planner, and when she’s not sprinting up mountains all over Latin America on epic trail runs, she can be found running all over Santiago unearthing the latest and greatest.