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Arts & Culture

Nearly 70 Artists Take To The Streets For Houston’s HUE Mural Festival

Downtown Houston serves as the canvas for the city’s first mural fest.

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  • Artist Douglas Chasmer, part of the muralist group,The London Police, came from England to take part in the festival. (Photo Credit: Amy Bishop/Houston Public Media)
    Artist Douglas Chasmer, part of the muralist group,The London Police, came from England to take part in the festival. (Photo Credit: Amy Bishop/Houston Public Media)
  • The wall of the vacant Kim Son Ballroom now displays works by muralists from around the world.
    The wall of the vacant Kim Son Ballroom now displays works by muralists from around the world.
  • A mural by Houston artist GONZO247 bedecks the side of the REMAX office at the intersection of Leeland and St. Emanuel. (Photo Credit: Amy Bishop)
    A mural by Houston artist GONZO247 bedecks the side of the REMAX office at the intersection of Leeland and St. Emanuel. (Photo Credit: Amy Bishop)

 

Until recently, the corner of Leeland St. and St. Emanuel just south of downtown Houston was nothing extraordinary, just a few abandoned buildings and a couple of parking lots. Drive by today and you'll see an explosion of color on what used to be bare bricks and concrete.

It all began last Saturday as part of the city's first HUE Mural Festival. The plan is to cover 25 walls throughout the downtown area, but that number keeps increasing.

"We paint one wall and a building owner will say, ‘I love what you're doing. Can you come paint the wall down the street?'" says Mario Figueroa, Jr., the artist better known as GONZO247, who's organizing the festival. "And that's what's so cool about this event. We definitely wanted to have that organic feel."

So far, nearly 70 artists are involved. Some are local, but others have come from other countries. Douglas Chasmer is an artist who flew in from London to take part. He's been impressed by the way the community has stepped up to get involved.

"There were people out yesterday with trash bags, picking up the trash, which had been here before we got here, and pulling up weeds out of the ground. And that's part of what it is," Chasmer says.

The HUE Mural Fest wraps up this Saturday with a completion party and art exhibition. It's open to the public.

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