Some people immediately hit up the must-see tourist sites when they visit a new city, but I enjoy exploring new-to-me cities via aimless wandering.
Even better? Purposeful wandering.
I usually use a map while I walk, so I get a good sense of where I am. And, I’m often able to check out the touristy areas (artists like to have their work seen, after all) as well as the nooks and crannies tucked into alleyway courtyards.
In fact, the sides and backs of buildings that most people just walk by are common places for large mural pieces.
So imagine my very pleasant discovery just days after moving to Kyiv that, over the last two years, artists from around the world have been descending on the city in droves to beautify downtown.
Kyiv is a curiously strange but lovely city, with an eclectic mix of intricately detailed, old buildings and Soviet-era blocks standing next to each other street block after street block. Its street art is punctuated throughout the city, blending in seamlessly with this mix of new and old architecture.
With a little research, I was able to uncover a local organization called City Art, which originally initiated the project. For awhile it was looking for investors and international artists to support and create these murals, but it’s hard to tell if City Art still exists – the website is bare bones, at best, with no information, and the organization’s social media accounts appear to have been abandoned.
Nonetheless, the street art lives on in Kyiv. And some of the people I’ve met in our first couple weeks here tell me there are new pieces popping up all the time.
Last weekend, I went on my first Kyiv street art hunt.
Notice I said first, because my art-hunting buddy and I found several pieces, but there are so many more to discover.
For anyone who is interested, this is the map we’re using to guide our purposeful wandering.