Maybe Something Beautiful: How an Artist Transformed a Neighbourhood

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maybe-something-beautifulF. Isabel Campoy and Teresa Howell, authors; Rafael López, illustrator. Houghton Mifflin Harcourt, 2016

Books with the theme of making the world a more beautiful place do not grow old, especially when based on a true story. Maybe Something Beautiful is a picture book illustrated by the muralist who, with his graphic designer wife, led the transformation of the once grey East Village near downtown San Diego, California, into a neighbourhood of colour. In real life as in this book, the muralist did not work alone. The whole neighborhood, from children to policemen, teachers and mothers were handed paintbrushes. In addition to art, music, dancing, joy and a sense of community filled the streets. Then the muralist, almost like a magician, “pulled everything together in big, sweeping motions.” The San Diego project led to a movement of community-based art, transforming not only public spaces but hearts and minds throughout the world into places of loveliness.  Definitely something beautiful.

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