Multi-Mural Art Project in Downtown Houston Aims to Inspire Social Change – Houston Public Media


Patricia Ortis

Lula Goce’s mural on the side of the Republic Building, 1018 Preston St., is part of “Big Art.” Bigger Change project in downtown Houston.

In a world filled with sadness and disease, Lula Goce wants people to be filled with happiness and wonder when they see his works.

The latest piece created by the Spanish muralist was unveiled Friday in downtown Houston, covering one side of the Republic Building at 1018 Preston St. It depicts a Mexican mother with birds flying around her and cosmic imagery on her dress. The woman is holding a clay pot that glows orange with steam coming out of her mouth, possibly indicating that it is filled with a powerful healing elixir.

“I want to cause good feelings,” Goce said. “We’re involved in seeing a lot of crises, a lot of sensationalism about bad things. We can see these things everywhere, mostly in cities, because people are suffering a lot and there aren’t too many helps for them. So it’s something that can change the point of view – on beauty, on feeling good, on helping and on healing.”

Goce’s mural is one of nine larger-than-life works unveiled downtown this fall as part of the “Big Art. Bigger Change” project, a collaboration between Central Houston, Inc. and Street Art for Mankind, a global non-profit organization that attempts to bring about social change through art. The project was funded in part by TotalEnergies, a global company with an office in Houston, and designed by Harris County 1 Commissioner Rodney Ellis, who represents downtown.

The non-linear collection of murals on commercial buildings covers over 1 mile of downtown and was created to promote the Sustainable Development Goals adopted by the United Nations General Assembly, including green energy, human rights people, social equity and education for all. Each mural comes with a plaque with a QR code linked to Street Art for Mankind’s free “Behind the Wall” app, which explains each piece and provides links to local service organizations.

Big Art Bigger Chance Maclaim

Patricia Ortis

The new mural on the side of the Scanlan Building at 405 Main Street depicts a young boy riding a bicycle.

An art walk displaying the eight completed murals is scheduled to begin at 10:30 a.m. Saturday at 400 Main Street. A related art fair will be held from 11 a.m. to 4 p.m. on Main Street between Dallas and Prairie streets. Both events are open to the public.

“We’re here to create great art and inspire people,” said Street Art for Mankind co-founder Thibault Decker. “We believe in art for social change. We believe that art in general has the power to touch minds, souls and create conversation. That’s what we try to do.”

A total of 10 artists from around the world teamed up to create the nine murals, including three from Houston: Bimbo Adenugba, Emily Ding and Ana Marietta.

Central Houston President and CEO Kris Larson, whose company is an economic development organization representing downtown interests, said there is a possibility that additional murals could be added next year.

“The overall health of any city’s urban core is often tied to pedestrian vibrancy, and this campaign will give people yet another reason to venture outside and explore the neighborhood block by block,” Larson said. in a press release.

Big Art Big Change Ding

Patricia Ortis

Houston artist Emily Ding works on a Friday mural on the side of the Four Seasons Hotel Houston, 1300 Lamar St.

According to his office, Ellis got the idea for a collection of walkable murals when he saw a mural created last year by artist Dragon76 on the side of the Hampton Inn Houston Downtown at 710 Crawford St. This artwork was created as part of the Zero Hunger Campaign launched by the World Food Program USA in collaboration with Street Art for Mankind.

Ellis then contacted the Houston center to organize an art walk, which gave birth to the “Big Art. Bigger Change” project.

“Each of these powerful murals engages us, Houstonians as well as visitors to the city and newcomers like myself, to understand how climate change education and innovation can impact the well-being of our community and positively shape future generations,” said CEO Ole Hansen. of TotalEnergies America. “Let this be an inspiration to all of us.”

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