Known nationally and internationally mainly for its theater and museum districts, Houston is also home to untapped art talent and a long history of artist-led and organized group shows and initiatives.
CounterCurrent is one example of the latest wave of art festivals in Houston. Presented by the University of Houston Cynthia Woods Mitchell Center for the Arts, CounterCurrent started in 2014 with a purpose to provide experimental art led by artists from around the world and across a range of sites in the City.
Earlier this year, CounterCurrent included French-Tunisian artist eL Seed to complete a mural at the University of Houston. eL Seed is known for his calligraffiti practice and for his ability to ensure his works always have a local connection. The script on this mural incorporates a famous saying by Sam Houston, “Knowledge is the food of genius, and my son, let no opportunity escape you to treasure up knowledge”.
A month earlier eL Seed completed the world-renowned, 52-building mural, Perception, in the neighborhood of Manshiyat Nasr in Cairo. eL Seed’s mural for CounterCurrent is intended to serve as a temporary public art piece and is available for viewing over the next two years at the University of Houston’s Graduate College of Social Work. – Suzy Villarruel
* Words & images by Suzy Villarruel