A view of the Egyptian-themed mural on the second floor of the Museum.

If you’ve visited the Museum lately, you’ve probably noticed some eye-catching new additions to our gallery spaces—two graffiti art murals near our ancient Maya and Egyptian exhibits.

They’re the product of a partnership with the Jacobs Center for Neighborhood Innovation and Writerz Blok, a nationally recognized urban art program based out of Southeast San Diego that channels youth expression into vibrant graffiti art. Artists from Writerz Blok, as well as well-known spray paint artist Chor Boogie, painted them as part of an on-going series of small-scale community-based installations in the Museum.

“We enlisted Writerz Blok to create graffiti art murals inspired by our exhibits as a way of enlivening underused public spaces in our galleries and to promote community partnerships,” said Director of Exhibit Development Emily Anderson.

Artist Chor Boogie working on the Maya-themed mural.

Where there were once white walls at the exhibits’ entrances, visitors are now greeted by bursts of bright colors and shapes, and larger-than-life figures like a scarab beetle and leopard. Best of all, you can get up close to the murals to see the intricacies of this art form—from layered and blended colors to tiny splatters and splashes of paint.

Across the board many museums have recognized graffiti as a legitimate contemporary art form. It’s an artistic style that’s entirely different from simply using spray paint to tag buildings.

Writerz Blok’s Jose Venegas working on the Egyptian-themed mural.

“Writerz Blok is all about teaching, growing, and collaborating,” said Jose Venegas of Writerz Blok. “Partnering with the Museum of Man to create murals on their walls is a huge transition for graffiti art. Not only did this partnership result in new art inside the museum, it also built a bridge allowing people to learn more about graffiti art…so that it’s seen as a legitimate art form.”

“These murals aren’t just beautiful works of art, they’ve inspired our visitors to think and engage with our exhibits in new and different ways, and it’s very exciting for us to feature San Diego’s diverse talent to guests who visit our Museum from all over the world.” Anderson said.

Be sure to look for the giant scarab beetle and rainbow-hued leopard the next time you’re in the Museum!

Learn more about Writerz Blok and the Jacobs Center for Neighborhood Innovation.

Pictured at top: Artist Chor Boogie works on the scarab beetle design on the Egyptian-themed mural.