A colourful wise owl, an aquatic landscape in blue and green, a treehouse straight out of fairy tales and a beautiful bird in vivid colours are the main themes of the four new murals adorning for some time now respective schools of Athens. All four of them focus on the environment.
The City of Athens, in collaboration with the Urban Act team, has given talented Greek and foreign street artists the opportunity to create impressive murals that highlight contemporary art in the public space, beautify the City and replace the grey walls of buildings with colourful ones. By implementing a network of artistic works and activities and utilizing its program for Culture, the municipality supports artists, strengthening the relationship of Athens with contemporary art forms.
The last four murals on schools walls of Athens were included in the second part of the public murals program “From the roots to the sky” and, after their completion, beautified the courtyards of the school buildings and gave life and colour to spaces where students play, discuss and socialize.
In a statement, the Mayor of Athens, Kostas Bakoyannis, stressed: “Through this original program and our collaboration with talented street artists from all over the world, Athens is gaining even more momentum and vitality. The city and its schools become the ideal “canvas”, proving that with the necessary respect for public space and the environment, street art can be part of the aesthetic identity of modern Athens.
Four murals, four creators
– At the 24th Primary School of Athens, 20 Sarantaporou Street, Ag. Eleutherios, a dynamic, cheerful owl created by the Argentine muralist and illustrator Fio Silva, welcomes the students. Fio Silva won a competition in which young artists from 40 countries participated, winning the prize to travel and paint murals in the capitals of street art, which now include Athens. Nature, emphasising wildlife, plays a leading role in her works. Her vivid colours depict the natural world, and her inspiring compositions impress at first glance. Her works can be seen on walls in South America, Britain, Holland, Spain, Portugal, France, Italy, etc.
– At the nursery of Thermopylon Street, Kerameikos, SisaSoldati, from Buenos Aires, a visual arts teacher for grown-ups and children, gave students a “playful” expressionistic mural depicting a field next to an aquatic landscape, the “Natural Memory”. A cat yawns indolently, an element that the artist herself added to “attract the interest, provoke laughter and spark a debate among the children she loves so much.”
– At the 8th Primary School of Athens, a stream “runs” in Ampelokipi, while the big tree, right above, hosts a house that fascinates students. The project was created by the Greek street artist Billy Gee, who also organised a participatory event for the students, painting a low wall in the school’s inner courtyard. Speaking about the main idea of his project, the creator said: “The Ampelokipineighbourhood, located in the heart of the city, offers residents almost no contact with nature. So my idea was to create a “secret window”. I hope everyone who looks at the painting can dream, feel, and make up stories related to it. […] Children are the future, and I am offering them this painting to inspire them to build their own treehouse.”
– At the 111th Elementary School of Athens in the Gyzi Neighborhood, the Greek illustrator and muralist, Bilos created a large picture of imaginary figures borrowed from the natural world, warmly welcomed by the children of the kindergarten in the same premises. Under his guidance, the primary school students also created their own mural on the wall of their school.