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New Billboards Meant To Remind Of Houston’s Arts Scene, Beautify Skyline

A new initiative puts the work of local artists on unused billboards

Billboards have been a controversial topic in Houston since at least 1980. That's when the city's sign code was adopted to reign in the thousands of billboards along roads.

City government corporation Houston First is now putting local art on some of them.

It's easy to forget about Houston's arts and culture when you're on the freeway, Houston First's Leah Shah said.

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"And so what we want to do is remind locals but also visitors that there is something to be seen when you exit the freeway, kind of get into the community to experience that," she said. "So hopefully this will tease that, but it'll also just beautify the skyline."

Houston First selected three out of about 120 submissions from local artists for the initiative this year.

The plan is to use the three motifs on 10 unused Outfront Media billboards. That's a value of $1.4 million, Shah said.

The three artists each received $1,000.

The first billboard was just revealed along Interstate-45 near Patton Street. It's by Hector Guerra and features the words "Houston es amor," with the o's in "Houston" represented by Mexican sugar skulls.

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