Gorilla murals create buzz about upcoming Houston Zoo exhibit

HOUSTON – Colorful works of art are popping up throughout Houston's streets and stopping people in their tracks.

The Houston Zoo has commissioned five Houston artists to paint gorilla-themed murals on the sides of building across the city to help spread the word about the new gorilla exhibit opening in May.

"We just wanted a really unique way to kind of spread the word and create a buzz in the city," explained Kirsten Ufer, Creative Director with the Houston Zoo.

On Memorial Day weekend, the largest primate exhibit in the world will open at the zoo. The two-acre, $29 million exhibit will be home to 10 gorillas.

"The street artists that we've chosen are the top artists in town. They are already doing beautiful things around the city," said Ufer.

Street artist Anat Ronen is covering the side of Richards Antiques on Main with a mural depicting a gorilla family in the wild.

"We wanted this art to have a little more soul to it and speak of these animals in the wild that we are really trying to help," said Ufer.

The works have already gotten attention from the community. Adam Lester, a Cypress resident, came to look at a mural painted by artist Mr. D on Washington.

"I heard this is brand new so I wanted to check it out," Lester said. "There's a ton of graffiti and tag work but this is actual artwork which is nice."

The murals should be complete by next week and will stay up for roughly six months.

The participating artists and their mural locations can are the following: Mr. D, 2119 Washington Ave; Anat Ronen, Richards Antiques 3701 Main St; Michael Rodriguez, Buffalo Exchange 2439 Bissonnet; GONZO247, Downtown Food Park 1311 Leeland.


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