Nueve Arte Urbano is an artistic platform based in the city of Santiago de Querétaro, Mexico, which through urban art, seeks regeneration, dignity and resignification of public spaces and symbols of cultural identity in Mexico and the world. Founded in 2010, Nueve Arte Urbano by Incusa SA de CV (a winner of the National Quality Award) and supported by Pinturas Osel, Nueve is dedicated to the consolidation and development of artists’ careers through “mural campaigns” where the identity of a neighborhood is portrayed on its walls. This dynamic led the platform to develop the Mextonia Festival in Talin, Estonia in June 2017.
Also referred to as an “alternative” cultural project, Nueve finds its bases in social marketing, but transgresses them by acting as a bridge of meanings that links the territory and its occupants, with the artists (mostly graphic artists) that intervene and that focuses on promoting the careers of artists; at the same time, it promotes the transmission of their ideals: beauty, love, truth and union, through the intervention of structures and public spaces for artistic expression and manifestation, neighborhood communion and the proliferation of peace.
Nueve Arte Urbano is born from the bosom of Incusa, a Mexican company, winner of the National Quality Award 2016 PNC with headquarters in Querétaro dedicated to the marketing of finished products for construction. In 2010, Incusa was already a solid company with seven branches in the city. He maintained a firm position in the paint retailing market and had developed his own business management methodology, the SER+ method. Ready to take another step towards social responsibility, it was on September 16 of that year when he held the first graffiti contest “paint the world you want” that invited urban artists and graffiti artists to intervene a series of pieces that would be placed in the Alameda Hidalgo, with the purpose of granting a space of convergence between the different artistic positions and so that the queretanos could have an approach to the misnamed,”alternative arts”.
This decision was neither arbitrary nor impulsive; it arose from a process of observation where generational change linked to the paint industry was the primary focus. The masters of painting (consumers and key promoters of INCUSA) were in ages ranging from 35 to 50 years old, and little by little they began to go through a transition where the immediate generation of them (from 14 to 19 years old) did not have any interest in the continuity that they could give to the craft. Simultaneously with this break, the growing consternation of many sectors of society was evident (especially by the owners of house-rooms, business owners and authorities linked to public safety) regarding illegal pictorial interventions. The connection between these two social processes (generational transition in the trades and the illegal appropriation of space) found its place within Incusa through the alignment of interests, finding graffiti as a point of convergence; that section of the population reluctant to apply colors in the way their predecessors had done and now found it through illegal signatures on public spaces, would now have a space to do so, linking with the products the company offered.
This festival, left a spark that ignited the creative will of Incusa and represented a return to the foundation of community service that was born with the granting of credit to the painters, thanks to this found tinder in the direction of marketing and general direction of Incusa, which agreed the birth of Nueve Arte Urbano. A project that promoted urban art through the interaction of three fundamental actors:”the Artist”, a stratum composed mainly of graffiti artists, the inhabitants of the neighborhoods where they would work, and finally the authorities of multiple origins, who legitimize the combined efforts. In the face of a superficial vision, Nueve Arte Urbano seems to be an artistic or collective platform dedicated to channeling fences and artists to make pictorial works on its walls. This cannot be further from the truth.
Gallo como símbolo de la interculturalidad queretana, Arte de ArtyChikle
The Name and its ideals
Nueve Arte Urbano undertakes its journey based on its philosophy of creating cultural and productive intersections where all the member groups win. It has an existential purpose and four principles for decision making. Its initial intention was to sow the “good vibe” through a dialogue between different sectors of the population around urban art and reflection on public space. This purpose is nourished by its principles: Beauty, Unity, Development and Love. The idea of providing spaces for graffiti artists, urban artists and muralists to converge in a meeting point to express their sensitivities and visceralities. Little by little the platform has evolved and refined, until generating and applying a methodology that channels different actors and actions of society through urban art, finding intersections and directing them towards the same purpose. These four principles are:
1. Measured as social happiness and created through constant improvement of the urban image and joy of living.
2. The proposal of sensitive and peaceful discourses within the prevailing culture in the artistic community.
3. The use of art as a tool for the transformation, propagation and communication of culture.
4. Promotion of artistic appreciation.
1. The pursuit of society’s prosperity through participation, strengthening relationships, resource management and teaching.
2. The transformation of reality.
3. Learning through communication, feedback and acceptance of errors (criterion of humility).
4. Supporting artists regardless of career path, qualities and dimensions of work.
5. The generation of face-to-face capacities where art and society require it.
1. The manifestation of art as an intelligent investment.
2. Professional, personal, human and coexistence development.
3. Cultural, economic, urban and social productivity.
4. The sustainability of the project and its financing.
5. Continuous improvement.
6. Results oriented towards administrative, social, anthropological and citizenship management.
1. The search for an identity, personal and within the collective consciousness.
2. The alignment of purposes between team, company, government, neighbors, artists and public opinion.
4. Community cohesion.
5. The insertion of the graffiti artist as an inherent element in the social machinery and as an agent of change.
6. Cooperative social management.
7. Production as a whole.
Headquarters in the City of Querétaro
All of these ideals are the basis for Nueve Arte Urbano’s planning and making, and in the same way that any project that seeks cultural management, they help it to signify its actions and to look for points of conjunction to define its nuclear purpose. The four fundamental concepts serve as a rose of the winds whose air currents converge at each crossroads generating new points, like the cardinal directions; that is: the search for Truth through Goodness or Union from Love, for example. This ratio of intersections gives us eight meeting points that are joined to the center by a button or a last and ninth point, like flowers. In this way we understand the meaning of Nueve Arte Urbano, based on its scheme of nine intersections, with the human being at the center, team members, artists, neighbors, authorities: everyone is the center of convergence, in some way they are all Nine and their essence is in the union of the whole, because we believe that the things we do or fail to do as individuals have a meaning on the planet we live in, a universe in which everything is a system of systems and an existential ALL-EVERYTHING; hence the name Nine Urban Art.
Method of Social Intervention Nine, from Social Marketing to Cultural Responsibility
Under this vision of reality, Nueve has defined its Existential Purpose in the different stages of its history, manifesting them in simple and powerful phrases that seek to transmit a common ideal. What was initially manifested as “Sowing Seeds of Good Vibration” has evolved into:”To enjoy life sustainably by generating happiness through urban art, inspiring the world to fulfill its dreams”. Clarification of a purpose and a name may seem like traditional or entrepreneurial paradigms, but for Nueve it means a path of rehearsals, experimentations and learning that continuously re-signifies the cultural intersection of the individuals that make up the organization, and that from this gives them the capacity to perceive more and better projects through a system of alignment of objectives. In this sense, cultural management is understood as a fabric of dispersed lines whose focal points are the interactions and points of agreement that may exist between sponsors, managers, societies and governments. A little coinciding with Edgar Morin’s (2001), Nueve faces a complex reality, where “events, actions, interactions, retroactions, determinations and chance that constitute our phenomenal world” are intertwined (Morin, 2001:32). Nine is then given to the task of generating a look that identifies and also favors all the moments in which these anchorages are given in an intricate manner and which are also oriented towards their purpose.
The Nueve campaigns serve as a product testing system, whereby the duration of the murals, the plasticity and recreation of the painting, and the coexistence with the actors bear witness to the quality of the murals, positioning Incusa’s products within the first sites of the “Top of Mind” among the inhabitants of the places where the campaigns are carried out. While this system has allowed Incusa to have social marketing, this is only one example of the alignment of purposes that drives the Nine methodology. This methodology used to carry out mural campaigns is based on the SER+ method (Sleep, Execute and Review).
In this way, the Nine Urban Art Method is born from the organizational culture of Incusa:”To enjoy life sustainably”, which feeds the purpose of Nueve:”To generate happiness through urban art”, finding once again in the same vision:”To inspire the world to fulfill its dreams”. This culture gives rise to an analysis of needs as landing filters for each campaign; an intersection of the purposes of Incusa, Nueve, the authorities and society, composed of artists, neighbors and passers-by. Once the intersection of these purposes is clear, the campaign’s scope, objectives, goals and timelines are defined.
A series of investigations are then carried out:
The urban one, in which the city is conceptualized as an abstraction of the whole formed by diverse cultures, analyzing the demographics (population density, age, origin, migration, schooling), the morphology (main streets, types of blocks, levels of construction) and the use of land, the equipment and services of the piece of city to intervene to define routes that respond to the alignment of purposes and scope of the campaign.
? anthropology, in which community leaders, authorities and relevant actors within the defined territory are identified, as well as those socio-historical aspects
Exhibition of Nueve at the regional museum of Querétaro
This stage is closely linked to social management processes. It is during this period that Nueve accompanies the artists and the community, giving them follow-up, helping them to resolve conflicts and emerging situations. The campaign and its processes are disseminated in real time through social networks, thanks to the photographic and anecdotal recording of what happens during production. Finally, a recount is made in which the percentage of progress and the fulfillment of the proposed objectives are evaluated.
This model contributes to the prosperity system that allows the neighbors involved and the artists to know the products, applying them directly generating loyalty to the brand. In this way, Nueve contributes as a marketing tool that promotes products, while triggering processes of positive spatial appropriation, intergenerational communication, social cohesion, diagnosis of needs and linkages between collectives and institutions for increasingly comprehensive, community and effective projects.
In this way, they have benefited more than 300 urban artists who have acquired not only spaces to express their emotions and work, but tools to empathize and connect with their environment, as well as creative material for the development of personal work that becomes community-based at a time when it is based on experiences generated in community.
Until 2015, Nueve has carried out seven campaigns with different themes in all the Querétaro delegations.
A street museum that sought the projection of local artists in its city with the aim of publicizing their work, while at the same time building bridges between young people and adults in the Hércules neighborhood.
Elementary chromatic color developed in the northern part of the city in the Santa Rosa Jaureguí delegation, brought the artists closer to the neighborhood councils and offered workshops under the themes of nature and respect for the environment.
AllOne. Campaign dedicated to the appreciation of community life and to generate peace speeches.
Mural (s)=seed. Dedicated to the regeneration of the social fabric in two stages, the first in 2014 in the Felix Osóres and Felipe Carrillo Puerto delegation.
Dimension Nine. Developed as a melting pot of consolidated and emerging talents that encompassed all the city’s delegations, converging work of local artists with artists of international importance. There are also two pictorial exhibitions, Thresholds perceptive and the spring exhibition in the municipal gallery of Queretaro.
Ethnic nine. A campaign carried out in conjunction with the Faculty of Philosophy of the UAQ and the municipal government, whose main reason was the visibility of the different indigenous groups that make up the urban panorama of the city. Mural paintings were painted on Otomi, Trikis and Nahua traditions.
Wall #1 of ethnic nine. art of Estimer.
Mextonia was the festival of “Transgrafitero muralism” that rescued Estonia’s deep history, through murals created on public walls, by Transgrafiteros artists from Mexico and Estonia, as a gift for the centenary of the Republic of Estonia and the arrival of the Presidency of the Council of the European Union in Tallinn.
Endorsed by the Estonian committee 100 and produced by the Mexican organization Nueve Arte Urbano, in collaboration with Todoesuno Eesti, with the support of local organizations EKKM, Stencibility, Pirates and Baltic Sessions, and with the academic curatorship of Maju Koivupuu, professor at the University of Tallinn; the festival was attended by 36 artists from Estonia, 16 Mexicans, 8 internationals, 15 producers and financed by the Mexican company Incusa SA de CV. The activities of the Mextonia festival began on June 13 and concluded with the celebration of the “Midsummer” on June 23,2017 in Tallinn. Murals were produced in 30 locations, with an area greater than 5 thousand square meters of walls and with paint imported from Mexico especially for this purpose. “Mextonia is an opportunity to evoke and renew our identity as members of a people with ancient cultural roots.” Sigre Tompel (Estonia), Co-director of the Mextonia Festival
In order to renew the icons of Estonian indigenous culture and promote “cultural freedom”; the festival brought together 60 Transgrafiteros artists, including the Mexicans Sermob, Sens and Renata, Tania Quezada, 90114, Benuz Guerrero, Farid Rueda, Moste, Himed and Reyben, Jonky, FerA LSánchez, the Estonian Silver “SBoy” Seeblum (whose first mural for Mextonia can already be seen on the facade of the national television station “ERR”), the Spaniards Boa Mistura, and the New Zealander Aaron Glasson of Pangea Seed Sea Walls. After producing hundreds of murals to remind Mexico of the podium, it is time to make a fresh start.
Mextonia built links between Mexico and Estonia, celebrating the centenary, highlighting the cultural roots of this ancient Baltic people, developing young artists as champions of the cultural evolution of the world; to manifest the fundamental proposal of the Transgraphic Manifesto:”To invite the creative passion of Graffiti and Urban Art, to consciously promote the cultural evolution of the world”.
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