Houston First Corporation, graffiti artist GONZO247, and community partners rally Houstonians for a momentous event and mural refresh, May 16

HOUSTON – The city’s most recognizable mural has reached a 10-year milestone and Houston First Corporation is celebrating that achievement with a special event in downtown Houston on Tuesday, May 16 at 11 a.m.

Created in 2013 by Houston artist Mario Figueroa Jr., also known as GONZO247, the 3,300-square foot “Houston is Inspired” mural was initially commissioned as part of an aggressive national advertising campaign designed to promote Houston as a culinary and cultural capital.

Today, the mural remains one of Houston’s most iconic pieces of public art, generating millions of online impressions and becoming the number one most posted photo of Houston on Instagram. Over the past decade, “Houston is Inspired” also has been featured in international publications around the globe, seen in various TV commercials, and is a popular design element used in business presentations and marketing collateral throughout the region.

“The ‘Houston is Inspired’ mural has become an intrinsic feature of Houston, and witnessing how it continues to resonate, inspire, and build a sense of connectivity for locals and visitors alike is nothing short of amazing,” said Houston First Corporation CEO Michael Heckman. “We thank GONZO247 for this meaningful addition to our city and could not think of a better way to celebrate 10 years than by bringing the community together to ensure ‘Houston is Inspired’ is preserved for years to come.”

As the destination marketing organization charged with promoting Houston in the U.S. and around the world, Houston First’s employees will serve as volunteers to help GONZO247 refresh the popular mural. The organization is joined by community partner AmCap Home Loans in this initiative.

“The Houston is Inspired mural was a visual game changer for the downtown landscape and signified the turning of a page in the acceptance of graffiti and street art culture on a major scale. It also helped usher in a new era of blockbuster murals that give the city a little more character,” said GONZO247.

Since 2013, many large-scale murals have been added to the visual landscape of downtown, with more planned in the near future.

GONZO247 adds, “When we started, we were not sure how people would react to such a large graffiti style mural in such a prominent location. We thought, either they will love it or hate it and thankfully 10 years later it is still one of the most photographed murals in town.”

To read more about the history of the “Houston is Inspired” mural, click here:

About Houston First Corporation:
Houston First Corporation (HFC) is a local government corporation and the official destination marketing organization for the country's fourth largest city. In addition to serving as operator for the George R. Brown Convention Center and some of Houston's most prominent art, entertainment, and event venues, HFC is focused on promoting the city's vibrancy and rich tapestry of culture. By harnessing the city's collective energy, ambition, and creativity, including its diverse culinary scene, world-renowned performing arts, medical and space innovation, and elite filming locations, HFC is solidifying Houston as a premier national and global destination. For the latest news and info regarding HFC, visit www.houstonfirst.com.

Arts + Culture