Exploring a city and its unique character can be done in so many different ways. Architecture, music, street food, and people-watching are some of the threads that make up the unique genome of a place. Street art is another element that does the same, and curated street art tours have become quite the done thing in many towns and cities worldwide.
Unlike art inside galleries, street art is open to public and transforms city areas and streets into galleries for every passer-by. You don't need to pay to get in and appreciate the artworks.
India has several cities where street art projects have given a fresh lease to entire stretches, turning them into open-air exhibitions of urban creativity.
Patna, Bihar's capital, is one such Indian city to get transformed by the works of graffiti artists.
A project called Walk for Bihar is behind much of the artworks. The initiative started in 2016, and its aim was to invite large-scale public participation using one or several art forms. Over the years, facades of houses, public organisations, and shops all over the city have been redecorated and reinvigorated. The artworks have become conversation pieces that make people smile when they walk past.
Walk for Bihar had around 25 artists from India and abroad creating art around Patna, some of which were based on the life and times of Mahatma Gandhi and Guru Gobind Singh to coincide with the 100th anniversary of Champaran Satyagraha, and the 350th birth anniversary of the 10th Sikh Guru. The WFB site states, "With the help of innovative and radical street art and video installations, we aim to cover the theme of Bihar’s potential in development, social justice and human liberty."
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So the next time you are in Patna, sign up for a street art tour of the city. Check out their website. It has geotagged images of the artworks so you know where they are located.