HOUSTON IS INSPIRED: The history behind the iconic downtown mural

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The history behind one of Houston's most recognizable landmarks (KTRK)

It's one of the most iconic murals in the city of Houston, but do you know the history behind "Houston Is Inspired?"

Located on the corner of Travis Street across from Market Square Park, the mural has quickly become a landmark for the Bayou City.

From all across the world, people venture to the graffiti mural to take photographs and post on social media. In fact, the "Houston Is Inspired" mural is the number one posted photo in Houston on Instagram, officials told ABC13.

And to think it all began with an advertisement campaign in 2013.



Mario Figueroa Jr., also known as GONZO247, is the man behind the famous downtown mural. The mural is the result of Greater Houston Convention and Business Bureau's "Houston Is Inspiried" initiative to highlight Houston's culinary and art scene.

What started out as a campaign photo shoot resulted in the gigantic mural you see today.

Holly Clapham, then-vice president of marketing for GHCBB, said she contacted Gonzo about doing the project.

"We did it," Clapham added.

Gonzo told ABC13 he's grateful to have been given the opportunity.

"I'm blown away, knowing that it is being woven into the fabric of the city," he said.

The mural is a representation of the diversity of Houston, Gonzo added.

RELATED: Most iconic murals in Houston

He said the patterns and the colors of the mural are meant to draw you the center of the mural: Houston.

"At the same time, all of these patterns are abstract butterfly wings," Gonzo said. "Essentially, all the energy from people and all the cultures, we all create the city. And working together, we are what gives Houston that lift -- those wings."

When asked about how he feels about the project four years later, Gonzo said the mural is not about him.

"I get the satisfaction knowing it's been embraced by the city," he said.

Clapham added that several Houston graffiti murals have also been placed in the country of Mexico.

"At the end of the day, art is the universal language," she said.

Looking back, who could have known a mural -- which was the first of its kind in Houston -- would have such a huge impact on the city?

"It's been a blessing," Gonzo added.


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