Arts InSight

Houston Experiences A Surge In Graffiti This Week – But It’s All Legal

The HUE Mural Festival is putting the city on the map as an urban art destination.


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Depending on which way the wind is blowing at the corner of Leeland Street and St. Emanuel Street in Houston's East End, you may catch a whiff of spray paint. That's because nearly 100 artists are taking to the streets with spray cans for the HUE Mural Festival.

"I just love the opportunity to be able to paint outdoors," says Houston artist Alex Arzu, who is taking part in the festival for the first time. "The thing is, there are a lot of very talented artists and you'll never get to know that they are talented if their work is not seen."

Local graffiti artist Mario Enrique Figueroa, Jr., better known as Gonzo 247, founded the weeklong event last year and says they've worked to make it more of an actual festival for 2016.

"Last year, we managed to paint wall space and that was great," Figueroa says. "But I think what was missing was that extra element that made it more robust. So this year, we have vendors, we're blocking off a street and making it a full block party."

The inspiration for Houston's mural fest comes partly from Miami's Wynwood neighborhood. The area has become a destination for muralists and graffiti artists from around the world. Photographer and street art enthusiast Jose Mora sees Houston going that direction.

"I love the idea of supporting the local artists but also bringing international artists to paint here because it's bringing a good name to our city," Mora says.

The HUE Mural Festival runs through Sunday at various spots around Houston.

And check out Ernie Manouse’s Arts InSight segment about the Houston Mural Festival. Arts InSight airs every Friday night at 8:30 on Houston Public Media TV 8.

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