The artists worked in a range of styles and techniques to make murals like this one.
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Many of the artists incorporated existing architectural features.
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This artist’s mural, which appears in a dark hallway, features the type of fish that might live deep underwater.
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The artist who painted this mural incorporated complex patterns.
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Street Art School
Artists transform a dormitory in France

Alexa C. Kurzius | for Scholastic Art

Some people think street art is offensive. But when 100 artists painted the inside of a dormitory in Paris, France, they demonstrated how versatile and eye-catching the art form can be.

On Bare Walls

The organizers of an urban art festival called Rehab 2 invited street artists to paint the walls of the empty dorm a few weeks before a major renovation. The artists transformed the drab, neutral hallways and staircases into giant murals. They spent more than three weeks painting the building, working in many styles and using a variety of techniques and tools including collage, spray paint, brushes, and stencils.

Then for one month, visitors could walk through the colorful space, which is part of the Cité Internationale Universitaire. International students and researchers stay at the school when visiting Paris.

From the Streets to the Galleries

As a recognized art form, street art is relatively new. It gained prominence in the United States during the 1970s and ’80s, when anonymous artists tagged buildings, city walls, and train cars. Most often, they would work with nothing more than a can of spray paint.

Eventually, property owners saw the potential in street art. Rather than fearing that street artists would paint unwanted murals on their buildings, they began commissioning those same artists to make neighborhoods more vibrant. Today street art can be an attraction, as in the case of the works at the Cité Internationale Universitaire.

Here Today, Gone Tomorrow

Street art is often ephemeral, or temporary. In many cases, it’s eventually covered over with more street art. The Rehab 2 installation is like most street art in that it won’t last forever. The dormitory will be remodeled in the fall, and the art will be painted over.