Oct 13, 2022 - Things to Do

Mile-long strip of downtown Houston now covered in murals

Photo of a mural with a femme figure leaning on an outline of a human filled in with trees and the sky.

The new mural behind the Four Seasons Hotel. Photo: Jay R. Jordan/Axios

Downton Houston is getting nine more murals, creating a mile-long outdoor exhibition centering sustainability.

Why it matters: The colorful "Big Art. Bigger Change" murals make downtown Houston more visually appealing and interesting.

  • The large works of art — all focused on the 17 Sustainable Development Goals adopted by the United Nations — are featured on prominent downtown buildings that were previously a blank slate.

What they're saying: "We're thinking a lot about how we improve the walking experience throughout downtown, and there's lots of different ways to accomplish that, but one of them is just to make things visually interesting," says Kris Larson, CEO and president of Central Houston Inc., which is leading the initiative.

  • "The content itself is meant to provoke conversation," Larson says. "When you see it all together, I think it raises important questions and conversations about what we are doing to prepare our community for the future."

Background: The mural collection came together after Harris County Commissioner Rodney Ellis wanted to expand on the large "Zero Hunger" mural on the Hampton Inn.

Details: The outdoor exhibit was curated by Street Art for Mankind, an organization that works with international street artists to raise awareness of social and environmental issues.

  • The muralists are from South Africa, Mexico, Australia, Portugal, Spain and Germany. This project also features two Houston artists.
  • The murals are expected to be on the buildings for at least one year.
  • The whole project cost about $300,000, according to Larson.
Data: Houston Downtown Management District; Chart: Simran Parwani/Axios

What's next: There will be a guided walk along and an art fair on Main Street as part of the official launch of the "open-air museum."

  • Activities will include live music from HSPVA, an art market with 80-plus vendors and a beer garden.
  • Plus: There is also an interactive "Behind the Wall" app that features more details about the murals and the artists' perspectives.
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