Cali, Colombia and Its Urban Art

Colombia’s on the rise as a hot travel destination, and its vibrant third-largest city, Cali, is known for cool things like salsa, its dynamic Afro-Colombian heritage… and its creative street art.

The perfect place to start is the Museo Libre de Arte Público (Free Museum of Public Art), which turns several city streets into an open-air gallery. It was founded in 2012 by artist Carolina Jaramillo on the occasion of Colombia’s First Biennial of Mural and Public Art with the tagline “we don’t bring people to the museum, we bring the museum to the people”.

Here you’ll find dozens of pavilions scattered throughout the city, exhibiting the work of Colombian but also plenty of international artists, as well. Many of these guys and gals are young up-and-comers whose imagination has been brightening up this city to the delight of many citizens. The pavilions can be visited free of charge, and they never close.

Some of the cooler murals include Laberintos de Reconciliación (Labyrinths of Reconciliation), where the Autopista Sur meets the Calle 13 Bridge – a meditation on peace and the integration of young people. Another particularly striking set of murals line the Hundimiento de Comfandi el Prado (Comfandi el Prado Tunnel) and the east side of the Pascual Guerrero Olympic Stadium, in south central Cali’s traditional San Fernando neighbourhood between Calle Quinta and Avenida Roosevelt/Calle 6.

Just in case you’re wondering, the museum’s office is at Avenida 4A Norte #37 AN-15. But really, this is all about taking it to the streets – and the adventure continues! In September 2016 the third biennial will be held here in Cali, and that would be a totally awesome time to visit, to partake of the best this young artistic movement has to offer. If you do, don’t forget to book with Iberia Joven, which will net you a big fare discount!

Photo | Alexander Andrade