The Texas Story Project.
An entire community brought together by one art piece. Not by some 15th Century Renaissance painting brought over from Europe to Houston, but rather a graffiti painting depicting the words "Be Someone".
Since September of 2012 when this work of art mysteriously showed up on the side of a railroad track over a busy street, this simple quote has become somewhat of a slogan for the entire city of Houston and a way of life for certain people. So much so that recently the graffiti was vandalized which led many people to petition the city that the graffiti be named a protected historical landmark of the city of Houston. Not only this but as a part of the Houston Urban Experience (HUE) Mural Festival, two tech-savvy Houston residents turned the graffiti into a light show which only made the experience even more captivating.
What makes this work of art specifically significant and impactful is not the way it is painted (to some it might appear as the work of an amateur or as simply a random painting) but rather the message it conveys. The magic of this piece is not the visual aspect, although the light show truly was a visual masterpiece, but instead the way it is so open to interpretation. The art might mean one thing to the person who created it, but to every one of the hundreds or thousands of people who see it it can mean something completely different which is truly amazing.
"It's inspirational. It speaks about Houston's diversity and about the many different opportunities the city offers, whether they be career-oriented or social," a Houston resident said of the graffiti. That quote really helped me to gain a more complete image into the significance of the art. "The graffiti speaks greatly about the individuals and about the community of Houston as a whole," said the Houston native. The depth of the message is one not captured by everyone who sees this artwork, but the effect it has on the community as a whole is a great one. People are kinder and more friendly as they think about the graffiti. It inspires a sense of comradery and generosity in the community and the individuals who form a part of it.
How such a simplistic design consisting of two words can have such a huge impact on a society is a fact not lost on the Houston residents. They appreciate the art and do not take it for granted, a fact which can be observed in their persistence at naming the graffiti a protected historical landmark of the city of Houston. Such a positive message shines through in more bleak times like the ones we currently live in. Houston residents believe this is exactly what the artist hoped to achieve with his or her art. People believe the message can be perceived differently by everyone. But there is a general message of being able to do whatever you want to do, anything is possible.
This mural is very significant and I’m sure I’m not alone when I say this work of art is one of the first things I think about when I think of Texas.
Posted March 22, 2018