Public Art in Oaxaca City

GE McKerrihan
5 min readMay 3, 2022

It is Everywhere, Amazing in Its Variety, At Times Humorous, Always Lovable

Colorful wall mural with tropical flowers, a hummingbird, and a painted skull.
“New Mural on the Acala” — Image by Author

I was on my morning walk yesterday and saw this mural on the Alcala. It was not there two days ago when I passed this way. I was stunned by its beauty.

I am amazed at how quickly things appear on the streets of Oaxaca City. And just as amazed at how quickly they disappear at times. Talk about living art. Art is definitely alive in this vibrant city.

As I looked through the many photos I have made since arriving in Oaxaca, I realized that art is everywhere, in many forms. It became obvious I needed to define my terms. I knew it would not include all the wonderful graffiti I see. But what would be included?

The historic architecture? The large block prints displayed on walls? The variety of creative expression is endless. But is it all art, with a capital “A”? I don’t have a good answer. Perhaps readers here do.

Painting of a traditional masked and decorated man.
“Wild Masked Man” — Image by Author

A large and frightening masked man inviting all to a Fiesta Traditional, a part of Carnival Oaxaca. It is such a powerful, and intriguing image. Sure looks like art to me, and it was displayed in a public square. How could I not include it?

A statue of a Saint in a niche on a Cathedral wall.
“Saint Wearing a Crown of Feathers” — Image by Author

Certainly this carved Saint in a niche of a Cathedral wall qualifies. Does the pigeon resting on his head, like a crown of feathers, disqualify this saintly sculpture. Somehow I don’t think so.

Religious art has been around since the beginning of time. For that matter, so have pigeons. Think I would call it Art, perhaps tongue in cheek, but Art nonetheless. It makes me smile, what about you?

Five larger than life sculptures of women painted black and gold on a pedestrian walkway.
“Black and Gold Goddesses” — Image by Author

These larger than life-size figures reside on a pedestrian walkway near the Santo Domingo Cathedral. They are impressive due to the scale. I rarely walk by without seeing one or more visitors…

GE McKerrihan

I’ve been using the camera for nearly 50 years. I write about Photography, Art, Travel, and Life. Top Writer in Photography, Art, Creativity, and Inspiration.