University of Houston graffiti project beautifies part of I-45

HOUSTON, Texas (KTRK) -- Graffiti is typically frowned upon, but for one class of art students at University of Houston, painting an I-45 underpass is part of a special assignment to help beautify one busy intersection.

"It's different than what we normally do," said Camilo Monroy, one of the students participating in the project.

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The landmark has been the target of vandalism since it first appeared

Monroy and classmate Meliza Resendiz competed against their peers for the chance to give the Cullen underpass a face-lift. Their winning design and color scheme represented Houston communities that use the space including University of Houston, East Downtown, the Third Ward, and Eastwood.

"A lot of those people use this intersection, so we thought it would be a great way to tie in those communities because we all have this in common," said famed Houston graffiti artist Gonzo 247.

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Finding commonality is part of Gonzo 247's vision, which is why he jumped at the chance to work with budding artists on this large-scale project.

"You know when you give the youth that are young and full of energy and they just want to be creative, you give them an opportunity and beautiful things can happen," Gonzo said.

The goal of the project is also to make Houston the best it can be by changing the way we look at the spaces we travel through for years to come.

"It's really cool to think that we worked on something, got to work with really cool people and it's going to be here for people to enjoy," said Resendiz.

The project also saw support from City Hall, TxDOT, and other stakeholders in the community.
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