Puerto Vallarta, Mexico - A wall that does not divide, but brings together, this is what you will find in Puerto Vallarta. In 2012, we watched Natasha Moraga, fondly referred to as "Nat," begin her mission. A plain unattractive wall where the streets of Pino Suarez and Basilio Badillo meet in Old Town came to life under her creative hand.
A magical transformation began in our city that has now graced other walls, plus benches, stairs, sidewalks and anyplace Nat can find to toss her plaster and shape her sparkling, colorful tiles into a story that is different to each beholder.
Pulling in the community of locals, residents and savvy tourists who want to contribute to this beautification, Nat donates her time and materials to most of the murals you will see about town. Her passion is to paint Puerto Vallarta with tiles - and she is finding a way to make it happen.
The art of tile work is a tradition of Mexican culture that reaches back to the mid-sixteenth century. Though there are many styles and methods, color seems to be the delightful foundation that enhances other media, as well, such as the native art of the Huichol and rich embroidered Otomi of many native groups of Central Mexico.
Natasha Moraga calls her work "Mosayko Vallarta" and it's found around unexpected corners in Puerto Vallarta, as well as the first thing you see as you enter from the north - our city's name spelled out in large letters.
What Nat has done with her reverent benches in the once drab entrance that leads to the Los Muertos Pier is amazingly enchanting. It has turned an unremarkable area into one of charm and appeal. She gives new meaning to "taking a sow's ear and turning it into a silk purse," and anyone can be a part of the thrilling action of Mosayko Vallarta, Nat's vision of beauty for Puerto Vallarta.
In May of 2018, in celebration of Puerto Vallarta's 100th anniversary, Natasha and her brother Daniel began Mosayko Vallarta's largest project to date: transforming Lazaro Cardenas Park into El Parque de los Azulejos / Tile Park PV.
Since transforming Lazaro Cardenas Park into another internationally recognized icon in Puerto Vallarta is such a huge undertaking, Nat decided to get the community involved by offering workshops that taught participants how to design and make their own mosaic as part of the project.
Thanks to community participation all of the pillars and some of the many benches that were built to enhance El Parque de los Azulejos have been completed - and they look amazing! - but there is still plenty of work to do, so the workshops will be returning for the 2019-2020 season on November 19.
This public art installation is all about community and everyone is welcome to be a part of it. For more information about the El Parque de los Azulejos project in Puerto Vallarta, and this season's workshop dates, visit TileParkPV.com.