Mural Competition

I'm really happy to announce that Ivan Camarena and myself have won a mural contest hosted by The Houston Arts Alliance and The Kroger Company! All finalists were asked to create two mural submissions with a specific theme and we chose to paint about the benefits of traveling.

One of our entries "Greetings from Texas” creates an illustrative approach to a romanticized Texas in the form of a vintage postcard. In the landscape, traditional Texan icons relating to travel are seen in the form of the Santa Fe train, aircraft in flight, and a young Southern woman in the middle of a traveling adventure. The viewer can be drawn in with a familiar rendering of ‘postcard lettering.’ The word “Texas” contains within it iconic Texan images such as (from left to right) a NASA aircraft, traditional cowboy, gulf coast surfer, Texan longhorn, and an expansive football field. Surrounding the text is the legendary yellow rose of Texas to compliment the iconic folk song and to the right of the train, local farmland complete with its water tower. All these images combined create a warm inviting feeling that not only entices the idea of travel, but also creates a sense of beauty for our current location. Prints of this painting will be available soon at my online store and locally at markets here in Houston TX!

Our next entry is titled "Texan Traveling Legends." The figures included are (from left to right) Shannon Walker, Jack Johnson, Howard Hughes, and Janice Joplin - all native to Texas and special figures that embody the spirit of traveling. Each one of these exceptional beings have inspired humanity in a very significant way. Through travel, these personalities were able to make a mark in human history. From the left, Shannon Walker was selected based on her accomplishments in the field of science and exploration. The female astronaut holds many educational accomplishments including a Doctorate in Philosophy and Master of Science from Rice University. Along with being an accomplished pilot, Shannon embodies the spirit of travel as her work has been taken around the world and out of it, literally. Next, John Arthur “Jack” Johnson was selected because of his groundbreaking accomplishments as the world’s first African American heavyweight boxing champion. The Galveston native faced many race related challenges during his career, but it was his fighting spirit and skill that allowed Johnson to endure and travel around the globe to motivate athletes worldwide. Howard Hughes earned a spot on the mural not only for his travels, but also for the innovations that fueled the way in which we travel. This Houstonian gained many titles and accomplishments in his life time such as aviator, engineer, inventor, and philanthropist to name a few, all while having a great impact on the airline industry. To the far right we have a joyful Janice Joplin, a Port Arthur born entertainer regarded by most as one of the greatest female voices of the 1960s. With a heavy blues influenced voice, Joplin became recognized by her talent on stage and learning from the world outside of her home environment. Prints of this painting will also be available soon on the site and locally at markets here in Houston TX!

Abel Garza