By Cindy Carcamo
Los Angeles Times
BISBEE, Ariz. — They can’t tear it down, so they decided to do the next best thing. They painted it.
For nearly a year, a contingent of artists from southeastern Arizona has joined forces with Mexican children to paint portions of the 650 miles of border fence separating the United States and Mexico.
Some see the border wall as an obstruction, a political symbol of the chasm between two nations. Others view it as the first line in protection for the nation. These artists, who call themselves the Border Bedazzlers, view the barrier that snakes across the Sonoran Desert as a blank canvas.
So far, a collection of artists, children, a minister and musician turned 30 panels of rusted metal border wall into murals featuring rainbows, hearts and brilliant landscapes alongside declarations of friendship and peace.
They’ve colored only about a mile of the wall. Still, Bisbee artists Gretchen Baer and Carolyn Toronto say the effort has a profound result — building community between two nations that share a contentious and anxious relationship, fueled by calls to fortify the border from a raging drug war and mass migration.