More than a month in the making, the building-side artwork marks the latest phase of the Houston Is Inspired campaign — a tourism booster effort led by the Houston Arts Alliance and the Greater Houston Convention and Visitors Bureau (GHCVB).
"For all the beautiful weather we've had recently, the project definitely had its challenges," Gonzo laughed. "It's been mild and sunny, but the wind could be strong. When you're working with spray paint, a good breeze like that will leave you with more paint on your face than on the wall."
The mural design is based on a small canvas painting Gonzo made for the Houston Is Inspired program after he was featured in a campaign photo alongside other local arts leaders like curator Mari Carmen Ramirez and gallerist Barbara Davis as well as noted artists Rick Lowe and Trenton Doyle Hancock.
"Downtown has had its ups and downs, but this little area around Market Square has always had character and managed to float along," said the artist, noting the new bars and restaurants popping up in the historical neighborhood. "Now more than ever, I think we're really starting to see this part of town pick up."
GHCVB president Greg Ortale and coucil member James Rodriguez, who represents north downtown, offered a few remarks in the park to a crowd of more than 100 guests.
"There are so many wonderful memories for so many Houstonians about Market Square Park," Ortale said. "I think this is our third iteration of it and this time it's really going to take with all the things going on around the community."
Gonzo and Rodriguez closed the event atop a mechanical lift next to Treebeard's, cutting a red ceremonial ribbon with a pair of oversized novelty scissors.