Cultural Affairs Office

Press and Communications

Mayor's Office of Cultural Affairs and UP Art Studio Invite Texas Artists to Apply to the Mini Murals Program Artist Registry 2021

Mini Murals Photo 1

February 10, 2021 -- The Mayor's Office of Cultural Affairs and UP Art Studio invite Texas Artists to apply to the Mini Murals Program Artist Registry 2021. The program has paid local artists over $300,000 over the past five years, and it has many upcoming opportunities for commissions in 2021.

Mini Murals is an award-winning program curated and managed by UP Art Studio, a Houston-based civic art consulting firm. The program commissions artists to paint small-scale murals on traffic signal control cabinets and other utility cabinets in the right of way in diverse neighborhoods of Texas cities. Over the past five years, UP Art Studio has commissioned artists to paint more than 300 Mini Murals. Major funders have included the City of Houston, the City of Austin, and management districts.

For the first time since the program's inception in 2015, applications will be accepted year-round and reviewed quarterly, allowing artists to apply any time.

"Together with our clients, we are so happy we can provide income to artists through our Mini Murals Program," said UP Art Studio principal Elia Quiles. "The pandemic has hit artists hard, and we are grateful to our wonderful clients for funding programs that allowed us to pay artists in 2020", added Noah Quiles, UP Art Studio principal.

"The Mini-Murals program has livened our urban landscape with art and has created opportunities for emerging artists to hone their craft through an investment in their creative services - their artmaking," said Debbie McNulty, director of the Mayor's Office of Cultural Affairs. "We've seen that this has helped to launch the early creative careers of artists who have since gone on to pursue public projects on a larger scale. Among other things, the success of this program in supporting the artistic development of Houston-area artists encourages our collaborative work with UP Art Studio and Houston Public Works, as we seek more opportunities to host public artwork in communities across the city."

"I have been in the program since the very beginning. Currently, I do just a handful of Mini Murals a year and enjoy seeing new artists come along with new brilliant designs and executions," said Mini Murals artist Anat Ronen. "I love this project for two main reasons. First, the initiative employs a large number of artists for a large number of boxes. Second, the initiative brings art to parts of town otherwise not having any."

Mini Murals Photo 2

How to Apply 
To apply to join the Artist Registry, artists should visit the Artist Info page at and read the following materials:

Program Overview for Artists 
Application: Mini Murals Artist Registry 
Program Rules: Mini Murals Artists 

The application form, with supporting documents, must be electronically submitted by March 15, 2021.  All applications must include a , which include a resume and examples of relevant prior work, which will be reviewed by a selection panel. Artist selected for the registry will be informed by March 30, 2021.

Artists accepted for the Registry receive ongoing notifications of Calls for Renderings. These opportunities to submit ideas for specific, funded Mini Murals commission are open only to artists in the Mini Murals Artist Registry. Responding to the Call for Artists is therefore an essential foundational step towards receiving a commission. UP Art Studio and its clients particularly seek diverse artists, with lived experience of project areas – which include many underserved areas that historically have been home to people of color.

Applications received after the March 15 deadline will be held for consideration by the review panel until the next Call occurs.  

Mini Murals Photo 3

For more information, contact

To arrange for media coverage, please contact Elia Quiles at 713.614.1605 or

UP Art Studio is a Houston, Texas-based civic art and creative placemaking firm that provides professional services and partnerships to the public, nonprofit, and private sectors, locally and nationally. Learn more about UP Art Studio at

For more information about the City's Cultural Programs, visit or follow the Mayor's Office of Cultural Affairs on Facebook or Instagram @HoustonMOCA.