This weekend there are two great art options for you – there’s a new mural to check out and the not to be missed Spring Biannual Art Stroll & Sale.
The mural, all 300 plus feet of it, is not going anywhere soon so I’ll tell you about that first. The residents of the Northline neighborhoods got a long awaited mural on the back of the Walmart at Fulton and Crosstimbers.
The football length mural is on the fence behind the store and was painted by Houston artist Alex Arzu, who operates Zu Art Collective. The mural came about by a collaboration between Avenue Community Development Corporation, a Houston non-profit organization dedicated to building affordable homes and strengthening communities, and Vecino Health Centers, a community-based non-profit and Federally Qualified Health Center that provides high-quality, community-centric primary care to its working families.
After learning of the neighborhoods desire to beautify the area, Vecino saw a connection with their #LetHealthShine campaign, which illustrates the connection between people in the community, their personal health and the vitality of our city, and partnered with Avenue, who obtained funding for the creation of a public art piece.
According to Mary Lawler, executive director of Avenue, the mural’s location is a welcome improvement to its site, a long wall on the exterior of a Walmart. That wall had become a prominent eyesore in the community as the result of continuous vandalism and tagging.
“The Near Northside and Northline neighborhoods have long been known for their vibrant history and culture, but in engaging with residents, we discovered that the neighborhood considered this long wall to be divisive and not representative of the community’s spirit,” said Lawler. “We are thrilled to partner with Vecino and Alex Arzu on this initiative that will beautify the neighborhood and hopefully serve as a catalyst for continued revitalization efforts throughout the Northline.”
For more information about Avenue’s community revitalization efforts, visit avenuecdc.org.
The mural is visible on Fulton behind the Walmart at Northline Commons, 4412 North Fwy. Houston, TX 77022.
Saturday afternoon and evening The Artists at Sawyer Yards present the Spring Biannual Art Stroll & Sale featuring artwork from nearly 300 local artists, plus celebrity-inspired birdhouses. Sale of the birdhouse creations benefits Houston Arboretum & Nature Center.
If you enjoy visiting the artist on 2nd Saturdays for open studios, this event kicks it up a notch. Several hundred notches, actually. Start your stroll at Spring Street Studios from 3 – 5 p.m. for a pre-party and silent auction of one-of-a-kind birdhouse creations, benefiting the Houston Arboretum & Nature Center, according to a recent press release.
Each was decorated by a Houston celebrity in partnership with a select Sawyer Yards artist. Participating pairs include Mayor Sylvester Turner/ Nicola Parente; Rod Ryan of the Buzz/Taft McWhorter; sculptor David Adickes/Justin Garcia; former Mayor Annise Parker/Michael Golden; artist Sharon Kopriva/Chris Silkwood; Heights realtor Bill Baldwin/Patrick Palmer; and KPRC2 Weatherman Frank Billingsley/April Murphy.
Additional benefit birdhouses, created by Sawyer Yards’ artists and priced at $100 each, will be offered throughout the evening at all the studios in support of the Houston Arboretum. After the silent auction concludes, all studios open at 5 p.m. for the stroll and sale. I’ve seen the birdhouse by April Murphy and Frank Billingsley, it looks like one of Murphy’s paintings come to life!
My tip for this event is either go early and stay late or get a ride there. Spring St. Studios is a few blocks away from the other studios. The addresses are Silver Street Studios – 2000 Edwards St.; Spring Street Studios – 1824 Spring St.; Summer Street Studios – 2204 Summer St.; The Silos at Sawyer Yards – 1502 Sawyer St.; Winter Street Studios – 2101 Winter St. and find more information at www.sawyeryards.com.
Cohen is an artist and founder of First Saturday Arts Market and the new Market at Sawyer Yards, find him at ArtValet.com.