Production of the Laurent Street underpass mural is underway

A new addition of art is being added to commemorate the history of the City of Victoria.

The city has partnered with UP Arts Studio to paint a mural on both sides of the Laurent Street underpass.

UP Arts Studio owners Noah and Elia Quiles applied to paint the murals in 2021.

They were notified of their approval late last year and are ready to get to work on the project.

“Keep Victoria Beautiful had an idea to commemorate the city’s bicentennial next year and we wanted to be a part of that,” he said.

UP Arts Studio was created by the couple in 2012 and is based in Houston. The company has completed thousands of pubic art projects from all borders of the United States and in Canada.

Elia Quilies said their company uses their projects to educate and move communities through their art and are ready to bring that to the city.

“We wanted to create a mural that will celebrate the city of Victoria and the people there,” she said.

The owners said the painting of the murals is officially underway. It began Tuesday with the preparation of the walls. 

“We’re working around the rain schedule,” he said jokingly. “Production just started a few minutes ago.”

The murals are expected to be completed by the end of the year. The designs were created with a collaborative effort of their in-house team with community members who surveyed residents about what they wanted to see.

Noah Quiles said that they’ve reached out to independent artists in the area to collaborate on the project and to gain experience.

He said he used to be a graffiti artist which orientated him into helping communities. He wants to do the same for upcoming artists.

“We do have some local volunteers that are gaining professional development opportunities to see how public murals are made,” he said.

One side of the mural will represent the history of the Mexican culture in the city with mariachi bands, dancers, instruments and more.

The other side will represent the nature aspects of the city such as the river and wildlife in the area.

The mockups of the draft are on the city of Victoria’s website.

They will use a mineral based paint which will help the mural will last for at least 20 years. The couple wants this piece of art to stand the test of time, Elia Quiles said.

“I think it’s important for the people to see the visual presentation of the city,” she said “We are putting Victoria on the map because of the styles and the murals we are using.”

Mayor Jeff Bauknight said he’s supportive of more public artwork in the city and believes that the designs will reflect the history of the city going forward.

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