The primary project goal is to bring art to unexpected places, where there would otherwise be blight.
You’ve seen them at intersections — the large, metal traffic light control cabinets — they’re not very pretty to look at. Which is why they’re being painted by some of the city’s best muralists. It’s a project initiated by Houston’s UP Art Studio, who presented the idea to the Mayor’s Office of Cultural Affairs.
“Mini Murals” reimagines traffic signal control cabinets (also referred to as electrical or utility boxes) as blank canvases brimming with creative opportunity, inviting artistic expression for all to enjoy. Once painted by local artists, the cabinets, which are located at every intersection with a traffic signal, are intended to help instill civic pride while beautifying neighborhoods and enhancing the urban landscape of Houston.
The “Mini Murals” pilot phase kicks off with 14 urban artists commissioned by UP Art Studio to turn 31 traffic signal control cabinets in Houston City Council District K into colorful works of art. The pilot phase was made possible through the support of City Council Member Larry Green’s district service fund. Green is the first to make a substantial commitment to the initiative with 31 boxes in his district, District K.
Artists participating in the pilot phase of the project include 2:12, Alex "Zu" Arzu, Ana Maria, Anat Ronen, Dual, Gabriel Prusmack, GONZO247, Jessica Guerra, Lee Washington, Sebastien “Mr. D” Boileau, Pilot FX, Shelbi-Nicole, w3r3on3 and Wiley. From the Graffiti style of GONZO247 to Arzu’s work in tattoos, UP Art Studio’s “Mini Murals” project brings vibrancy to the streets through not only passion and color, but diversity.
With the pilot phase, UP Art Studio and its partners aim to raise awareness of the project in order to expand to other areas across Houston, especially areas that are art deficient.
Mini Murals is a fiscally sponsored project of Fresh Arts, a nonprofit arts service organization.
For information about the project, visit minimurals.org or januaryadvisors.com.