Supporting Art & Culture in the Community

At Avenue, we know that art and culture have great power to bring people together and inspire.  We also know art is a powerful way for individuals and communities to express and present themselves. As such, we always seek opportunities to weave artwork and cultural events into our community building and engagement programming.

Public Art Installations

Neglected corners of our neighborhoods and commercial corridors can become not only eyesores, but eventual magnets for dumping, tagging, and illicit activity. Avenue works with residents to identify areas for improvement and transform them into points of pride, with residents leading the way and contributing their vision, time, and talents. Public art that is from the neighborhood, for the neighborhood, by the neighborhood creates a shared sense of community among residents and businesses.

“The Near Northside and Northline neighborhoods have long been known for their vibrant history and culture. 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.” —Mary Lawler, Avenue’s executive director on the #LetHealthShine mural.
Eyes of the Northside: Mural by YES Prep Northside and Mary Anne Pennington, created in partnership with Texan-French Alliance for the Arts (2017)

To cultivate hope, inspire younger generations, and create a safer home for all in the Northside community, students from YES Prep Northside came together to create a new public art piece: “Eyes of Northside.”

The mural’s design, created by students in collaboration with graphic designer Mary Anne Pennington, features three large pairs of eyes that watch over the Northside community and represent the neighborhood’s past, present, and future.

#LetHealthShine:  Mural by Alex Arzu, created in partnership with Vecino Health Centers and Walmart (2017) 

The 300-foot long wall on the exterior of the Walmart at Crosstimbers and Fulton had become a prominent eyesore in the community, subject to regular vandalism and tagging.  

Northline residents wondered how to beautify the area to create a safer and more welcoming environment.  Vecino Health Centers saw a perfect fit with their #LetHealthShine campaign, which highlights the connections between the people in a community, their personal health, and the vitality of their city.  

Avenue obtained funding for the creation of a public art piece, a bright, large-scale mural painted by local artist Alex Arzu.

Scaped Senses: Installation by Nicola Parente and Tami Merrick (2017)

Scaped Senses is an outdoor, interactive civic art installation located in Houston's Near Northside. Artists Nicola Parente and Tami Merrick invited the community to participate in family art workshops to create poetic, painted PVC grasses which align the walking paths.

Visitors meander the labyrinth to a monumental, woven, basket sculpture inviting written public comments on glistening cd discs.  This piece was meant to create a meditative, healing, color field, art installation embracing cultural diversity and weaving community.

Other Notable Public Art Pieces

  • Tree of Life sculpture by Rose Toro at Fulton and Boundary
  • Utility Box Mini-Murals with Up Art Studio
  • Historic Carnegie Library Column Restoration at Castillo Park with Houston Art Alliance
  • Flag Mural with YES Prep Northside and Texan French Alliance for the Arts
  • Open the Door Project with Texan French Alliance for the Arts
  • Mural on the Ryon Civic Club Association Building
  • Let Health Shine Mural at the Carrasco Clinic
  • Welcome to the Northside Mural by YES Prep East End

Place-Based Cultural Events

Cultural events build pride in the neighborhood, strengthening community spirit and a sense of shared identity.  This unifying force, in turn, builds up social capital which gives the neighborhood a greater voice and visibility with policy and decision makers at higher levels of government.