Street Art: Museo a Cielo Abierto

 

Largest collection of streetart in Chile

The Museo a Cielo Abierto is located in San Miguel, originally a settlement housing the families of copper mine (MADECO & MADEMSA) workers that today houses some 7000 people.  In 2010, it was falling into disrepair, classed as one of the most populated areas in the Metropolitana region and prophesized to die in 50 years.  Many of the buildings suffered from damage, electrical faults and issues with plumbing. It caught the eye of artists from the MIXART cultural centre, who proposed painting the gigantic murals to residents which was enthusiastically accepted. Extraordinarily, many residents – young, old and from different walks of life – became involved during the endeavor, while the artists themselves collaborated even though they too were known for different styles and from different worlds. The paintings were put onto the most vulnerable buildings, in a sense ´immunizing´ them from further decay, intended as a way to show the world that the people of the area care about their home. This work concluded in 2014.

40 murals that tower on 80m2 apartment blocks

Created by national and international artists, these murals are gigantic.  Many face the road but others you find by walking around the complexes, or painted onto bus stops and other building walls.  Ten of these murals allude directly to Chile and its history, with some being quite political, while seventeen have a free theme expressing ´a love of pure art´.  Last word on the artwork always came down to the residents; ROA, from Belgium, who is known for his macabre style, had his original design (horse eaten by piranhas) rejected.

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Horse by Roa (Belgium)

Artists include Colectivo La Mano: Basti and Jano, Aislap, 12 Brillos Crew, Lo Rekolectivo Ha: Gesak, Santiago Under Crew, Charquipunk + Larobotdemadera, Cruda, Depanité, Agotok, Echoes, Kata Núñez, Jamberta, Roa, Colectivo A La Pinta, Soledad and Sofrenia, Salazart and Inti.

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This mural by Jamberta (Germany) depicts the feelings and frustrations that parents unwittingly pass on to their children (as seen in the words painted on her face). The girl is looking with nostalgia at the flower as it only has nature and the wind to shape it.
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The Offering by Ian
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Resignation by acclaimed Chilean artist, Inti

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Dia del Joven Combatiente (Day of the Young Fighter) by Dasic
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Humanidad by Degra, Nao, Teo, Yono and Mona
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One of the first murals.  This one inspired the locals as it depicts the popular band, Los Prisoneros, who came from this area.
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By duo Aislap, this mural depicts the symmetry of native cultures. In the center there is a Mapuche machi (healer) who is surrounded by Aymara, Rapa Nui (Easter Island), the Ona (of Tierra del Fuego, now extinct) and the ¨digital man¨ who represents the emerging culture of today´s technological world.

More Information

Metro: Departamental

Parking: On the street

Other: The murals are located within a poblacion. While the area is perfectly safe in the day, it is recommended to be vigilant with your personal security and belongings.

Tours: Miles & Smiles Chile offer private guided tours in English and Spanish.  This trip can be combined with the Palacio Cousiño.

 

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Southern Chile Roadtrip

  1. Ojos del Caburgua, Caburgua

Stunning waterfalls and crystal clear waters are the attractions at Ojos del Caburgua near Pucon. They can be found within dense forest and can be enjoyed without a lengthy hike – in fact they are just a short walk from the carpark.

2) Lago Caburgua, Caburgua

One of the most beautiful places I have ever visited, Caburgua Lake is just a short drive from the busy and commercial bustle of Pucon but a world away in spirit. The water is clear and stays shallow for a really long time so it’s perfect for children, plus it’s full of fish.  The ground is stony and there are quite a few shops at the start of the lake.  Go there before everyone else does.

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3) Salto de Petrohue

You may think after driving past luscious farms and sprawling greenery that Chile can get no better. You would be actually be wrong, because Petrohue takes all those amazing vistas you’ve seen and tops them all.  It feels as though you can reach out and almost touch the volcano while around you the landscape seems to harken back to the dinosaur age. All the usual amenities can be found here (souvenirs, food, toilets) plus the bush walk is helpfully marked so that you can learn all about Chile’s flora and fauna.

4) Pucon

This is the place where I dream about living.  Seriously, if it was just a few degrees warmer in winter it would be perfect.  The lake is clean and blue.  There’s a volcano. The food is out of this world (all the chocolate shops!) and the list of activities to do are endless.  The supermarkets even want you to shop with reusable bags it is that committed to being green. Downsides are the prices and the crowds but come in the shoulder season before all the summer hordes arrive and you will find Pucon as charming as I do.  Plus there are hot springs to laze about it at every turn.

6) Frutillar

With a stunning theatre and a beautiful lake, Frutillar doesn’t sound like much but it’s quaint with good food and close to all the nearby sights of Petrohue, Puerto Octay and Puerto Varas.

7) Curarrehue

There isn’t too much to see in this sleepy hamlet but it’s worth a visit from Pucon for the museum detailing Mapuche culture.  Keep an eye out for blackberries to pick or blackberry jam to buy!

8) Puerto Montt

Puerto Montt doesn’t get the love it deserves, in my humble opinion. Whenever I travel anywhere, whether that be down the road or further afield, I like to imagine myself living in the houses I see and imagine what life would be like. Puerto Montt stacks up pretty well: there’s work, I can easily find what I might need and it’s got all Chile’s natural beauty on it’s doorstep.

Family Fun: Museo Interactivo Mirador

Do you know what has been on the To Do List forever? The Museo Interactivo Mirador, otherwise known as the MIM. Have you heard of it? You probably have, as it always tags along on any list regarding children’s activities in Santiago. But let me tell you, any place that goes by an abbreviation as cool as The MIM is going to pack a huge punch because this museum really delivers.

It knocks the socks off all the other museums in Chile, to be completely honest.

First of all, the parking is free AND there’s a guard whom you’re not expected to tip (both firsts in Santiago!). Secondly it’s located inside an immacutely maintained park that is chocka with things to see. And third upon entering you will discover that this museum takes it’s customers seriously because there is disabled and pushchair access to everything (ramps and a lift), lots of loos and benches, plus there is so much staff that you couldn’t get lost even if you tried.

Entering the museum is like stepping into a madhouse … and every child’s fantasy. There are knobs and levers and buttons to push at every turn, glowing lights and loud noises. Areas are divided to cover all the scientific spectrum, from Nutricion & Life and Electromagnetism, to Art & Science and Robotics. While my 3 year old and 34 year old had a ball, there is also a sensory section for wee ones too, which is thoughtfully sectioned off from where all the bigger kids play. We loved the watery wonders inside the Sala Fluidos where you can play with giant bubbles, and the Sala Tierra where you can make a tsunami and watch an earthquake knock down a (tiny) building. There is even a 3D cinema.

I’m sure you are wondering what the catch is. There aren’t really any, only a couple of grievances that can’t really be helped. Tickets are not that cheap particularly as children 2 and over pay, although the effort put into this place is surely worth the cost. It’s also quite a way from downtown Santiago, being located in La Granja, and you need to walk 8 blocks from the nearest metro station (Estacion Mirador).  You also need to share the museum with hundreds of overenthusiastic children, none of whom are the slightest bit interested in the well signposted explanations regarding each exhibit (in fact if you have a newborn like us, or if you’re a bit of a germaphobe, take some sanitizer or baby wipes as there are a lot of hands touching everything before you).  The museum is also GINORMOUS. After almost four hours we still only explored the first floor and saw almost none of the surrounding park so plan it as a day visit.And whatever you do, do NOT leave without first venturing through the multicolored “jellyfish” outside (I have no remembrance of what it really is but it is amazing).

Verdict: A fantastic trip for the whole family even if you don’t speak Spanish, and one of the best museums I’ve ever been to.  Really world class.

The Nitty Gritty:

Children (2+): $2.700

Adults: $3.900

Discount for senior citizens and students (ID required)

Shop selling science kits etc on site

Two food options

Lockers to leave your stuff

Information available in Spanish only.

Wednesday has half price entry!

Children below age 14 must enter with an adult.

Click here for the website.

For more Family Fun Day ideas please click here and here or here. .