PAMELA ROJAS IS AN ARTIST, a community organizer and civic mobilizer who uses murals as a way to build connections between people and places in her home community of Waterloo Region. Believing that 'a mural is a piece of art for everyone', Rojas has been helping to physically transform urban spaces while empowering individuals since she first moved to Canada in 2005. Read more of Pamela's story in "Power of Art" (page 68)
AJ: What was your inspiration to do murals in the first place?
Pamela Rojas: Murals can have a social impact. It's not the kind of art that is selective or just for educated people. A mural is a piece of art for everyone. When I first moved to Canada (2005), I remember my first winter was so cold and grey. I wondered, why does the city have to be so grey? Why don't they paint, why don't they use colour? I saw that when I lived in Switzerland too. Why don't they use murals to make the city look more vibrant and more welcoming? We have so much talent that we can cover the whole city in colours. It would be like having an outdoor museum. Why do all museums have to be inside? You have to pay for a ticket, that makes it selective. I'm more interested in the education of the masses.
Tell me about your greatest influence.
Ximena Ahumada. She is the founder of the first mural collective in Seville, Spain. I was her assistant for six years. She approached the murals from a social background. When she was young and in Chile, she belonged to a very famous mural collective. At that time, the people were oppressed and they didn't have access to the press, so how could...