This weekend saw the VIP kick-off of the second annual Houston Urban Experience Festival (or HUE, to its friends). The week-long extravaganza of urban art will feature over 100 artists from around the world, including Puerto Rico, Iran, Mexico, Argentina, Brazil and Spain, and promises to "transform Houston’s cityscape from concrete to color". Those of you who are familiar with Houston's urban art scene will also see some familiar looking work popping up by local artists such as Nicky Davis, Scott Tarbox, Dandee Warhol, and Anat Ronen in locations ranging from St. Arnold's Brewery to the Holiday Inn parking garage.
The event is being spearheaded by GONZO247, a local heavy hitter in the street art world, and the mastermind behind Aerosol Warfare, the Graffiti and Street Art Museum Texas, and the "Houston is Inspired" mural that is LITERALLY ALL OVER EVERYTHING.
I was lucky enough to attend the VIP opening shin-dig on Saturday night - it was all very mysterious, with the venue announcement being distributed day-of, ultimately leading guests 3 stories underground to view the aptly-named Wall of Fame II in the belly of a Holiday Inn parking garage downtown.
Bad news first: it was BOILING, as in I genuinely suggest going to see these murals in your bathing suit and not a long-sleeved woolen dress like this idiot here did.. However, the work certainly makes it worth the trip. Although my phone snaps unfortunately don't do it justice, this cavernous canvas is another great example of Houston artists transforming the traditional consumption of their work to make it a true experience. A few highlights for me included an intense portrait by Skeez181 (pictured), Alex Ramos' 3-story worm mural, and my personal favorite: "Hit 'Em With That Llama" (also pictured), by tgp_htx artist Bao Pham.
With just a few days of the festival to go, there is still SO much to see. There are daily tours in addition to four or five different events each day to suit everyone. Wednesday is the HUE Playground, where you can actually try your hand at some graffiti of your own, Thursday there is HUE Artist Vendors on Canal St., Friday is HUE Brew at St. Arnold's Brewery... But I don't know your life, so to be safe go and check out the calendar yourself here, and see what you fancy.
Stay tuned for more coverage of HUE events to come...
British-born arts blogger living in Houston, Tx. A mixture of Street Art, Fine Art, Installation, and anything weird and wonderful. Follow me if that sounds like your cup of tea.