Local art critics bristle at street mural project

You can spot them all over the Greater Houston area. Mini murals on traffic control signal boxes at random street corners and each one adds a little character to the neighborhood.

You can spot them all over the Greater Houston area. Mini murals on traffic control signal boxes at random street corners and each one adds a little character to the neighborhood.

"We like to think our project makes everybody happy," said Noah Quiles.

Noah and Elia Quiles of Up Art Studio created the Mini Mural Program two years ago. It started with 30 boxes. Now there's more than 170.

"We want art to be there for everybody to enjoy not just a select group of people," Elia said.

But Rainey Knudson, an art critic that founded Glasstire.com whic is tailored to art news and criticism of fine art, wasn't a fan.

"Absolutely it was aggressive," said Noah.

Knudson took to her website and fired off a harsh critique of Houston's mini murals writing, "Please stop painting the electrical boxes."

"She felt the aesthetic of the art wasn't to her standards of what public art should be," said Elia.

But the critique generated outspoken support for the artwork online.

"Immediately I went to social media to see what the public was saying, and the outpouring of support was incredible," said Elia.

The Quileses say the whole point of the mini mural program is to make art more accessible in communities that don't typically see public art. They're calling on the critic to be a part of the program too.

"I kind of feel bad for people who aren't able to see past the "quality" of the artwork, when you should really focus on what the greater good of the project does."
 

© 2017 KHOU-TV


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