Tada!!! Here is the long awaited blog series that I am so happy to finally share! But before we begin, let me share with you something about me:
When I was a little girl, I was chased around with a camera. I was the youngest (and only!) daughter in the family, so my parents took pride in capturing all my childhood memories, regardless of how significant or random. My family made sure that if there ever was an opportunity, they would snap a photo. What I took away from those years was that I developed a deep appreciation for places and moments that were designed and created to photograph. Whether it be a beautiful bouquet of flowers given by a loved one or reaching the top of the Grand Canyon, there's always a person out there in this world trying to capture a memory.
With my recent travels (check out the destinations here), the one thing I noticed about a place is it's art. There is so much art to discover, especially when it comes to the art walls and murals of a city. There's something bold about art- how people travel all over the world to take a photo with it, how quickly people share a destination via social media, how artists are able to attract their masterpieces to a community...it is no wonder how people came up with the term "Instagram worthy" when describing a tourist spot. Today, I am beginning this series with my home city: Houston, TX!
Although most people would consider LA or NYC the top spots for trendy art walls, trust me...when it comes to the largest city in Texas, we go big or go home. There are a huge range of murals to choose from, but I decided to showcase the most prettiest, abstract, and colorful ones- perfect for any Instagrammer, blogger, or photogenic "bae" who enjoys striking a pose. This list is not ranked in any order, but these five are the ones that personally stood out from the rest. Look no further because this one's for you, traveler. Let's begin:
1. "Sugar and Cloth Color Wall"
Location: 3302 Canal Street, Houston, TX 77003
Artist: Ashley Rose from Sugar and Cloth
Details: If you've never seen Ashley Roses's Instagram, you should, because this wall clearly reflects her colorful blog and creative personality. Although this wall was recently launched early this year, it has already made an impact in the Houston community all over social media. The wall is sectioned with a good array of bright colors- anything from yellow, orange, red, blue, pink, etc. If you're wearing a colorful outfit, matching a color from this wall should be no problem. You can read more of her storyhere.
Tips: When it comes to parking, I was able to just park in front of the color wall, take photos for 5-10 minutes, and leave without any problem. Although the wall is located at a side of a building that's right along a street, there was enough room for my car to park in front while cars easily pass by. Plus, this wall has a nice colored walk space for me to pose. I did notice that the location of the art wall is not as populated, so it's perfect for capturing photos without feeling like people are staring at you or making any photobomb cameos. However, I did get a few honks and whistles from drivers that drove by (Houstonians can be bold people sometimes). This wall is so tall and wide, that if you want to capture the entire front view of the wall, you would probably have to cross the street to capture it. During the summer, I would recommend taking photos early in the morning and early evening for the perfect lighting.
2. "Synchronicity of Color" Art Mural
Location: Discovery Green, 1500 McKinney St, Houston, TX 77010
Artist: Margo Sawyer (website here)
Details: Thank goodness for artists who want to bring color to the city, and Sawyer had every intention to when she created the "Synchronicity of Color." There are two murals: the blue based (not pictured) and the red based one that are walking distance from each other. The mural reminds me of the color wood blocks I played as kid when you stacked all the blocks on top of each other. I love how the colored shapes are random sized when grouped together, which really makes Sawyer's piece a one-of-a-kind attraction at Discovery Green.
Tips: Discovery Green is a park located in downtown Houston. Parking here is sometimes difficult, and the parking fee ranges from $5-$10. It's manageable, but it does require pocket cash. Good part is that the park itself is free and opened from 6:00am-11:00pm all year round. If you wanted less hassle, I would recommend planning a day trip to see it with using the Houston metro train ($2-$3 one-way ticket). Plus, the mural is located inside the park, so if you play your cards right, you could take photos and catch a free concert too. If you are arriving during the busy hours of a day, expect to wait in line to take a photo with it. However, both murals are shaped like a block and has four sides to take photos from, I prefer taking photos with the side that is facing the open field, not the one facing the sidewalk with the higher chances of people making a photobomb.
3. The Chartres St Wall
Location: 800 Chartres Street, Houston, TX 77003
Artist: Zosen and Mina Hamada (website here)
Details: This mural beauty is tickled pink, and it's no surprise that it has been a favorite in the Houston downtown area after it was originally designed for the HUE Mural Festival in 2015. The Barcelona based artists created a vividly colorful mural with a playful design that abstractly drew animals, fruits, and flowers, and shapes within their work. This fun mural is the perfect combination of children's book illustration meets edgy in the best way.
Tips: The easiest way to access this wall is to park at a nearby food spot, buy a quick coffee and/or meal inside (to prevent car towing), and get a snap with the wall afterwards on the way out to your car. The mural is located inside a paid parking lot, which is not convenient for a person if they only wanted to take photos of a mural for 5 minutes. Good thing, the parking lot has no parking spaces that are placed in front of the mural. So if you happened to take a photo of it with a packed lot, you can still take photos. Because the mural is close to the BBVA Compass Stadium and the George R Brown Convention Center, the surrounding area is packed with traffic and little available free parking. I would recommend checking the events around the downtown area and choose to visit on a day that has no events. In spite of it located in downtown, this mural isn't surrounded by any skyscrapers or tall buildings, so photographers don't have to worry about awkward lighting or shadows.
4. The Fannin St Wall
Location: Corner of Fannin St and Truxillo St
Artist: Daniel Anguilu (website here) and Kazyusclef
Details: This particular wall is a stunner, but it's surprisingly not as well-known as the other art murals around the city. I could not even find the official name of the mural. However, there was something beautiful about this hidden gem that made me add it to my list. This mural was beautifully designed in collaboration with a French artist and Houston artist. Their talents together intricately painted the mural around the entire property building. In result, it's a colorfully captivating masterpiece that is worth seeing in person.
Tips: The reason I did not give an exact address is because I wanted to respect the building property in regards of their privacy. With research, the building has been abandoned and occupied on and off, but the art has kept the street alive with the urban feel of the city. The art mural is for the public eye, which makes it worth the visit to see in person. I was able to park for free in nearby streets and walk across to take photos. I just don't recommend bringing a huge film and photography crew around with you since the building is right next to other houses and apartment complexes. Bringing a friend to take some quick photos from your DSLR and/or phone should be fine. I first discovered it while I was riding the metro train station, so you can also transport there to visit the art wall. This mural is also close to other graffiti and murals around the street, so it's a great opportunity to take tons of photos with other murals as well.
5. "The Biscuit Paint" Wall
Location: Biscuit Home, 1435 Westheimer Rd, Houston, TX 77006
Artist: Sebastien “Mr. D” Boileau (website here)
Details: Located in the parking lot of a local decor and home goods store in Montrose, the bright colors and drip effect of the paint have made it a crowd favorite for many years in Houston. Not only is it the perfect attraction to a local business, but it is a masterpiece that is a colorful reminder of how "mess" can be art, and art is beautiful.
Tips: The store hours during the week are M-F 10:00am-6:00pm, Sat 10:00am-4:00pm and also closes on Sundays. Since the art wall is painted on the parking lot side of the store, I highly recommend taking photos of it before or after store hours to prevent any parked cars getting in the way of the mural. The store is fairly small, so parking lot spaces are limited. However, even if you park there during store hours, you shouldn't have any problem with the owners if you just wanted to take photos of the art wall. The store is surrounded by other local businesses, which brings a hipster vibe to this side of Houston.You'll be sure to find some interesting antique shops, food joints, and bars around.
There you go! If you are able to take a photo with any of the art walls, be sure to tag me (@ressamazing) and hashtag #pose4htown so I'll know that you find this series helpful! Of course, I give all credit to the respected artists, businesses, and companies that the art walls/murals are located. All the photos that were provided in this post are taken and owned by me. If you recommend another art wall in Houston or would like to share a favorite art wall in your city, be sure to let me know down in the comments! Take care always. -Ressa