Public art expanding in Houston

More Houston neighborhoods will be seeing the work of local artists outside as new public art will be on display in a unique way.

Right now, 187 traffic signal control cabinets display murals by local artists, and as a way to continue beautifying the city, more will soon be painted as the Mini Mural project is expanding.

"This is at the stage that I call the ugly stage," said Patti Lou Richardson who's a Houston artist.

But by her own admission, Patti Lou hasn't always been an artist. She found her hidden passion with her grandson at Lassaulx  Art Studio nearly 10 years ago.

"She said, 'I don't know nothing, but I want to enjoy the art,'" said Lassaulx Art Studio Owner Clemente Garcia.

"It really reminds me of something I didn't know as an educator. The real importance of art," said Patti Lou.

Patti Lou is among a group of finalists selected to paint around 40 traffic signal boxes throughout Houston, a public display of art, culture and diversity.

"Why not Houston and I was like, you know what? You're right," said Noah Quiles who's the Program Director of Mini Murals and Owner of UP Art Studio. He and his wife, Elia Quiles brought the Mini Murals to Houston.

The plan is for the city to fund 40 new murals, decorating Houston’s neighborhoods by the end of the year. Combine that with about 20 other privately sponsored projects and well over 200 will be showcased on otherwise boring boxes.

"There's no extra infrastructure costs involved with it. It's already there. It's just a gray box why not add a little bit of color," said Elia Quiles.

A perfect fit for Patti Lou. "I like bold. I like a lot of color," she said. "I love the diversity of Houston and I love the fact that art is a common denominator. It brings us together."

It costs around $2,500 to paint each traffic signal control cabinet. The painter will be paid $1,000 for their work. In total, there are 2,400 traffic signal boxes in the city of Houston.