This month’s Scenic Citizen recognizes the Perspectives beautification art project displayed at the busy I-45/Cullen underpass near the University of Houston (UH). Designed by students in the Graphic Design program, the Perspectives mural depicts the history and character of four neighboring communities.
GONZO247, a Houston graffiti artist, collaborated with the students to produce a design that would communicate a vivid story to the public. The students presented the concept to a committee of stakeholders interested in boosting the underpass’s visual appeal, including the East Downtown Management District, the Texas Department of Transportation, and Sherwin Williams, which donated all 55 gallons of paint for the project. With the UH students as his assistants, GONZO247 installed the mural across the 22 columns of the underpass.
Brushstrokes of orange imitate EaDo’s Dynamo Stadium; a red beehive pattern represents the UH community; a blue circular pattern echoes the soulful musical background of Third Ward; and Eastwood is portrayed with a structured green pattern inspired by its history as one of Houston’s first master-planned subdivisions. Additionally, LED lighting was installed to illuminate the underpass at night, resulting in a safer, pedestrian-friendly environment.
Through deliberate color choices and dynamic storytelling, Perspectives illustrates the rich history and character of the neighboring communities. GONZO247 sees the mural as a perfect example of how art can enhance the visual character of a public space. “I see Houston starting to become known for its murals and public art,” he said. “Perspectives fits perfectly by adding to the visual landscape of the city.”
Scenic Houston is impressed with the collaborative efforts involved in this project. With Perspectives, the mural demonstrates how art can enhance the visual character of Houston one brushstroke at a time.
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