Completed this week, is the “East End Loteria” mural, which is a play on the popular Mexican game of chance. Along with some of the traditional icons of the game, the artist, Gelson Lemus AKA “w3r3on3”, envisioned the game using icons of the East End, such as Our Lady of Guadalupe church, and the esplanade itself. Located on the Navigation esplanade, the container houses new public restrooms.
Noah Quiles, co-founder of UP Art Studio, said, “We helped with camouflaging a very needed public restroom. Our creative partner hid the restrooms in plain sight, with a brilliant style that uses anamorphic techniques.”
Heroes & Icons is a series of murals curated by UP Art Studio throughout Houston. Examples include a tribute to Don Robley’s Peacock Records in the Fifth Ward painted by street artist Wiley and a multitude of Mini Murals including but not limited to, Dr. Red Duke, Martin Luther King Jr,, President Obama, Earl Campbell, Barbara Jordan, Ann Richards, Eleanor Tinsley, Sgt Macario Garcia, John P. Mason, Cesar Chavez, Frida, Willie Nelson, and Howard Hughes.
Also recently completed by artist w3r3on3 x UP Art Studio is a mural at the drive-through of the Space City Federal Credit Union depicting the iconic Mexican “Papel Picado” pattern, and showcasing the East End logo, which has been popping up in artwork and signs across the district.
Other mural projects managed recently by UP Art Studio in the East End include “Turtle Soup” and two Magnolia Park commissioned murals at the former WYCA on Navigation Blvd, which is breathing new life. The murals at the WYCA, which were painting by Jay Mack “Muzik” showcase the magnolia flower – one mural located in the interior grand gallery of the building, and one mural located on the highly visible exterior wall of the building, owned by art collector David Duthu.
Turtle Soup is a mural that was painted via the partnership with the GEEMD, which spent two weekends in June working with more than 300 veteran and student volunteers to clean up an abandoned railroad spur, which was converted into a walking trail. The District also cleaned and primed a 260-foot concrete wall on JW Peavy in preparation for “Turtle Soup” which was painted by Adam Socie AKA “Pilot”, visiting artists Koka and MrPrvrt from the Meeting of Styles festival. The beautification efforts led to a Keep Houston Beautiful Mayor’s Proud Partner Award. Other sponsors of the mural included: Shell, NuStar Energy, Sesco Cement, Port of Houston, and Council Member Gallegos.
UP Art Studio’s work in the East End began with the Mini Murals project. More than 15 Mini Murals have been painted throughout the district, via a partnership with the GEEMD graffiti abatement team.
The studio has also worked with artists at the Harrisburg Arts Museum (HAM) on special murals such as the one of Cheech Marin, which was painted by Carlos Alcaraz AKA “Empire” to commemorate the actor/art collector’s role as the grand marshal of the Art Car Parade in 2017. UP Art Studio also co-produced the Meeting of Styles graffiti festival with Adam Socie AKA “Pilot” at multiple locations throughout the East End in 2015 through 2017.
The Heroes & Icons Series has also been implemented in Miami, via a commission by former Mayor of Miami Beach, Philip Levine, who is running for governor of Florida. Themes for this political series include: JFK, Rosie the Riveter, Dwight Eisenhower and the Greatest Generation, MLK, Cesar Chavez, Harriet Tubman, the Moon Landing, a tribute to Innovation featuring The Wright Brother, Nikola Tesla, and Steve Jobs, and a masterful anamorphic art piece of the Lincoln Memorial by Houston artist w3r3on3. Mr. Levine evoked each mural in his announcement speech for his run for governor of Florida.