Local artists commissioned to beautify traffic light utility boxes

Local artists painting traffic light utility boxes.

HOUSTON - Colorful murals are popping up on traffic light utility boxes all over SW Houston. They're part of a beautification pilot program. Thirteen local artists have been commissioned for the undertaking.

A piece titled "Suns Spirits Moons Comfort" was being painted on Wednesday at the intersection of Airport Blvd and S. Gessner Drive; the artist is Alex Arzo.

"This painting is really just to make, you know, people in the area kind of smile," said Arzo.

There's another painting by artist Anat Ronen on Willowbend and W Bellfort. By the end of July there will be 31 painted utility boxes across Houston's District K.

The project is part of a beautification pilot program that is the brainchild of UP Art Studio, who presented it to the Mayor's Office of Cultural Affairs. Each mural costs about $2,500.

"We've seen this in many cities around the world," said Elia Quiles, Up Art Studio's owner, "and so we just thought why not Houston? It's a low-cost project with a high visual impact. A lot of the artists that we've commissioned, their works range anywhere from $500-$40,000 for a piece. So this is really high-quality artwork."

"The project is to put art in areas where people normally wouldn't get to see artwork," said Arzo. "I've had a lot of people of all kinds of different ethnicities saying that I'm doing a great job and that they love it."

If the pilot program is a success, Quiles hopes to expand it to other areas of Houston.


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