It’s gratifying to see efforts to bring back the old normal, and one of the gifts is seeing murals and public art coming back to the streets. The 7th edition of Avant Garde Tudela festival, taking place amidst Spain’s Covid-19 stage 3 response, produced 3 large scale murals in the beautiful Ebro Valley, but also generated an enthusiastic burst of energy and hope, proclaiming art on the streets after the imposed lockdown. Featuring 3 Barcelona based international artists, the event curated by artist Jorge Rodríguez-Gerada and organized by Tudela-Cultura added new works by Miss Van, Mina Hamada, and Jeff McCreight, aka Ru8icon1 to the existing 21 murals produced over the years.

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Vanessa Alice, aka Miss Van, painted her largest work to date (seen above) by portraying two dynamic female figures representing Las Gitanas (The Gypsies). Emerging from a desolated red desert setting, the two subjects perfectly capture the evolution of Miss Van's practice. Rendered in more detail than in  previous work, she adorns the two figures with a joyful feast of details like flowing scarves,  rows of necklaces, feathers, and a bevy of baubles. The French-born artist creates a velvety atmosphere around her elegant muses, as they contrast against a blurred and moody landscape.

For her piece, Japanese-born Mina Hamada cut a dramatic swath, painting on a variegated building set in the hills. With her signature visual language, she carves colorful,  abstracted shapes to create a captivating composition of curving striped paths that breeze into organic forms that populate her vibrant universe. Wind, waterways, local flowers and plants come to life within her work, as she introduces the viewer to her swirling subjects, forming a link between them, a mood that can literally change with mood, time of day, and the weather.

US-born Jeff McCreight painted an image of two kids gleefully jumping in the air,  outfitted in snorkeling gear. With some parts of the images broken away, the artist successfully captured the joy, freedom, and energy of the moment. From afar they might be summoning locals to join them for a dip in the neighbrohood river, and up close, but their innocent, hopeful faces exhort all of us to embrace the moment, wherever and whenever it presents itself.  —Sasha Bogojev

Photos by @feralcala