By Ciara Long, Contributing Reporter
RIO DE JANEIRO, BRAZIL – Serving as public transport for Santa Teresa residents for more than 120 years, the bonde (tram) that links the bohemian neighborhood with Rio’s Centro has received a tribute from local and international artists.
A mosaic panel was unveiled on the walls of Santa Teresa this Saturday, with contributions from some ninety artists.
The idea was conceived by plastic and mosaic artist Andrea Aires Imbiriba, who wanted to honor the tram as a part of the area’s cultural heritage. Through her own social networks, she got in touch with artists throughout Brazil and from around the world to contribute.
Artists designed their mosaics, composed of colored tiles, in A4 format and sent them to Imbiriba. The final installation was put in place by 26 artists and can be viewed on Santa Teresa’s Rua Paschoal Carlos Magno, one of the streets which the bonde used to pass before the accident in 2011.
For Imbiriba, the mosaics and graffiti alike have a place in urban spaces to generate conversation and commemorate the everyday culture of events that take place in the streets. “The idea is that we get other walls in the city to install the mosaics, always working with themes that deal with culture and the appreciation and recovery of our memories,” she told a government news source.
The wall space was provided by local Santa Teresa resident Hans Rauschmeyer, who said he wanted to encourage art and sustainability in people’s everyday lives. Speaking to EBC, he said, “I was very grateful for this proposal from Andreia. I love Santa Teresa, I love the streetcar and I want this art invading the neighborhood.”