Fanzara, Spain: “MIAU” Marries Street Art & Cats, Breaks Internet

You knew it would happen eventually, like peanut butter and chocolate on their first date. One day the Internet would deliver to you two of your favorite things together – like cats and Street Art. Yes, it is called MIAU, an acronym that translated from spanish is The Unfinished Museum of Urban Art. The festival is pronounced the way you thought – meow!

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Thiago Goms. MIAU. Fanzara, Spain. July 2015. (photo © Lluis Olive Bulbena)

Cynics among you, please turn your eyes away from the screen as we show you adorable scenes of murals by Street Artists who basically have adopted a tiny town of Fanzara, 35 minutes from Castellón de la Plana on the east coast of Spain. And by tiny we mean 323 people, most of them senior citizens.

It all happened innocently, according to stories heard by photographer Lluis Olive Bulbena and published reports, when two local guys wanted to invite a small number of Spanish Street Artists to paint murals in the town in the wake of bitter debates that had been happening around a proposed incinerator in town and creating rancor between citizens.

 

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Animalitoland. MIAU. Fanzara, Spain. July 2015. (photo © Lluis Olive Bulbena)

The pay would not be high; you’d sleep on somebody’s couch and eat home cooked kitchen cuisine, but it would be appreciated. An “adopt an artist” program was started and people volunteered to host a visiting painter. The town board came up with a small budget. Word spread quickly and the number of artists interested grew to 20. In little time, as citizens responded favorably, there were 40 new murals in town and many of them were done with some participation of residents.

That was 2014. Last month 21 more artists arrived, worked with local folks, did workshops, had film screenings, a few photo exhibits, had a PechaKucha night, involved youth in painting projects, helped create community, and were serenaded live while painting by La Rondalla Santa Cecilia, a 13 piece local band formed in 1983.

 

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Borondo. MIAU. Fanzara, Spain. July 2015. (photo © Lluis Olive Bulbena)

If you are wondering how much of this adorable story is the product of clever marketing strategies by savvy Gen X professionals who made their money in digital advertising campaigns and how much of this is genuine, we understand your suspicions: it is awfully cute. But the murals are real, and the town is real. And yes, there are a number of cats in the compositions as well.

Miau.

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Borondo at work on a larger wall. MIAU. Fanzara, Spain. July 2015. (photo © Lluis Olive Bulbena)

The list of artists invited this year are: ANIMALITOLAND, BIBBITS, BORONDO, BTOY, CHLYO, D.JUEZ, EMILIO CHERRY, GAEL, FLU, H101, Joaquín Jara, JULIAN ARRANZ, Kenor, LOLO, LUIS MONTALVO, PICHI & AVO, PINCHO, SGER, THIAGO GOMS, Xelon XL and DEIH.

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Xelon XL. MIAU. Fanzara, Spain. July 2015. (photo © Lluis Olive Bulbena)

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Bibbits. MIAU. Fanzara, Spain. July 2015. (photo © Lluis Olive Bulbena)

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Gripe. MIAU. Fanzara, Spain. July 2015. (photo © Lluis Olive Bulbena)

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Gripe. MIAU. Fanzara, Spain. July 2015. (photo © Lluis Olive Bulbena)

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Gripe. MIAU. Fanzara, Spain. July 2015. (photo © Lluis Olive Bulbena)

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Emilio Cerezo. MIAU. Fanzara, Spain. July 2015. (photo © Lluis Olive Bulbena)

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Emilio Cerezo. MIAU. Fanzara, Spain. July 2015. (photo © Lluis Olive Bulbena)

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GR170. MIAU. Fanzara, Spain. July 2015. (photo © Lluis Olive Bulbena)

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H101. MIAU. Fanzara, Spain. July 2015. (photo © Lluis Olive Bulbena)

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Julian Arranz. MIAU. Fanzara, Spain. July 2015. (photo © Lluis Olive Bulbena)

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Sger. MIAU. Fanzara, Spain. July 2015. (photo © Lluis Olive Bulbena)

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BToy. MIAU. Fanzara, Spain. July 2015. (photo © Lluis Olive Bulbena)

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Chlyo. MIAU. Fanzara, Spain. July 2015. (photo © Lluis Olive Bulbena)

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Costi. MIAU. Fanzara, Spain. July 2015. (photo © Lluis Olive Bulbena)

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Pincho. MIAU. Fanzara, Spain. July 2015. (photo © Lluis Olive Bulbena)

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Xabier XRTM Laguna. MIAU. Fanzara, Spain. July 2015. (photo © Lluis Olive Bulbena)

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Kenor. MIAU. Fanzara, Spain. July 2015. (photo © Lluis Olive Bulbena)

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Pichi and AVO. MIAU. Fanzara, Spain. July 2015. (photo © Lluis Olive Bulbena)

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Natxuta. MIAU. Fanzara, Spain. July 2015. (photo © Lluis Olive Bulbena)

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Lolo at work on his wall. MIAU. Fanzara, Spain. July 2015. (photo © Lluis Olive Bulbena)

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D.Juez. MIAU. Fanzara, Spain. July 2015. (photo © Lluis Olive Bulbena)

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Deih at work on is wall. MIAU. Fanzara, Spain. July 2015. (photo © Lluis Olive Bulbena)

 

Our most sincere gratitude to Mr. Bulbena for sharing his photos with BSA Readers.

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