Houston-area artists paint uplifting messages to help restaurant industry

Local artists out of work because of the Coronavirus crisis, have now been tasked with a new art project to uplift Houstonians. The projects will eventually give back to restaurant workers.

Houstonians may recognize Mel Eason's striking work splattered around the city -- at restaurants, coffee shops, and street corners.

"I predominantly do signs so I hand-paint signs. Sometimes way findings, sometimes murals," said Eason.

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"When they first announced the shutdown, the first 48 hours were pretty scary for me as everyone canceled on me all at once. I must've lost $12,000 in planned work for the next three months," Eason continued.

The rapid spread of COVID-19 caused the majority of retailers to shut their doors and effectively, put Mel out of a job for the next couple of months. But on Monday, things changed.

"I lost all nine of my restaurant jobs as soon as the lockdown happened. So when I got a call from her designer telling me they'd like to hire me, I jumped on it. I was so grateful for the work," Eason said.

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Restaurant group, Goodnight Hospitality along with Biscuit Home, a local bedding retailer, has now tasked Eason and several other local artists to paint inspirational messages on wood panels that cover their storefront windows in Montrose.

The messages serve as a reminder of how Houstonians can do their part to help overcome the COVID-19 crisis from supporting local, washing your hands and calling your grandparents.

Eason is leading by example.

Eason tells me whenever this is all over, the restaurants will be taking these panels down and donating it to the Southern Smoke Foundation. The money raised from the auctioned art will then go back towards helping those working in the restaurant industry.

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