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The West End and North End murals carry a “sense of security,” says the artist

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A local artist is now working on a new project as he tries to bring a little more color and brightness to Winnipeg’s back streets.

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“I think having color and art present instills a little more safety in neighborhoods,” said artist Nereo Zorro.

Zorro recently returned to Winnipeg, where he was born and raised, after spending time in Mexico, and the 36-year-old said he started noticing a lack of color in back alleys in neighborhoods like the West End and North End. and that many back streets were often left unclean and sometimes littered with rubbish.

He said it can give people the feeling that those back lanes are unsafe and should be avoided.

Zorro, who is a working artist, now gives people the paid opportunity to have their back alley garage doors painted with elaborate murals, and said he has already finished three murals in the city lanes and has many more. job requests.

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Winnipeg artist Nereo Zorro is working on a new art project as he tries to use art and murals to bring a little more brightness and color to Winnipeg's back streets.  He recently completed this rabbit mural on a garage door on a property located on Westminster Avenue.
Winnipeg artist Nereo Zorro is working on a new art project as he tries to use art and murals to bring a little more brightness and color to Winnipeg’s back streets. He recently completed this rabbit mural on a garage door on a property located on Westminster Avenue. Photo by Dave Baxter /Winnipeg Sun / Local Journalism Initiative

The murals can be found at the doors of the property garage on Langside Street, Westminster Avenue and William Avenue.

“What I’m doing is the same as when planting flowers in communities,” Zorro said. “It just feels like you’re safe, but when you see blind doors and walls and garbage that can make things seem a little more dangerous.

“Having art instills a sense of security and, by creating images, shows just a little more attention to the community, and this can spread.”

Zorro said he also knows that in many Winnipeg neighborhoods, children and young people are often on the lookout for things to do and activities to partake in, and he hopes some may be inspired to indulge in art after seeing his work pop up. in the back alleys.

“It is important for children to see what can be created with creative minds, and so maybe this can ignite a passion for art or something creative, and this can be the thing that can really change a child’s life.”

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Winnipeg artist Nereo Zorro is working on a new art project as he tries to use art and murals to bring a little more brightness and color to Winnipeg's back streets.  He recently completed this fox mural on a garage door on a property located on Langside Street.
Winnipeg artist Nereo Zorro is working on a new art project as he tries to use art and murals to bring a little more brightness and color to Winnipeg’s back streets. He recently completed this fox mural on a garage door on a property located on Langside Street. Photo by Dave Baxter /Winnipeg Sun / Local Journalism Initiative

Zorro now plans to continue painting murals on garage doors in Winnipeg and said he would also like to travel to paint similar murals across the country.

He said he also likes the idea of ​​creating art in public and outdoor places because it can be shared and viewed by multiple people.

“Art has always been an interest of mine since I was young, and later in my life I returned to my first love which is creativity, visual arts and street art has always been something that I have thoroughly enjoyed and embraced, ”Said Zorro.

“I love the idea of ​​public spaces as an open canvas that can be turned into an art gallery,” he said.

“I want to expand and show that art can be anywhere and be a reflection of our cities and how we feel about our cities and our neighborhoods”.

– Dave Baxter is a Local Journalism Initiative reporter working for the Winnipeg Sun. The Local Journalism Initiative is funded by the Government of Canada.

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