The graffiti world like the streets in which it thrives are clouded in mystery and misunderstanding. For some its hard to imagine refined art, or a refined artist coming out of that setting. The environment which nurtures such a vibrant art form is not necessarily conducive to the creation of what may be considered to be fine art. Does this mean that fine art could not be created in this environment? This was some of the subject matter discussed with well respected Houston artist Daniel Anguilu.
For an artist who’s roots are in the streets via graffiti instead of the gallery these questions are valid. Especially when your goals parallel but are not necessarily the same as ones more traditional counterparts. The literal definition of a museum is “a building in which interesting and valuable things (such as paintings and sculptures or scientific or historical objects) are collected and shown to the public.” Regardless of ones interpretations David Anguilu and partners he’s working with are trying to create a museum by definition, but a community project by actions. The building has been a refuge for graffiti artist to paint for years. It only seems right that it be transformed into a sort of community museum. A place where artists as well as art lovers can converge, create, and appreciate art. A place that represents the community where it exists. At the same time allows the community a chance to take part in its growth, as well as what it develops into.
We spoke at length about the need for something more permanent in an area in the throws of gentrification and reprioritizing of real estate. A place that stays true to the roots of an area. East Houston(2nd Ward) has been a hub for Latino culture for well over 50 years. It seems fitting that Daniel and his partners created a project that nurtures the creative energy of an area that they grew up in. Though in the early stages the project has huge potential for the artists as well as the area itself. A chance for the artists in the area to help work towards uplifting the area via art and community action. I hope to touch on it more in the future to document the progress, as well as highlight the talent in the area. If your in the Houston area I recommend you stop by and check out the progress for yourself. It’s a true blessing to the area that people like Daniel are working to preserve a culture and way of life.
H.A.M. (Harrisburg Art Museum)
4300 Harrisburg Blvd.
Houston, Tx 77011