Austin | Dallas | Houston
Only in Houston

The world's largest street drawing: New chalk mural to cover a full downtown block

Enlarge
Slideshow
Visa Colori, chalk art, June 2012, downtown, mural mockup on street
On Wednesday, the Via Colori festival unveiled plans for what may very well be the world's largest street drawing. Courtesy of the artist
Visa Colori, chalk art, June 2012, downtown mural project luncheo
CHS board member Jim Casey of real estate developed Trammell Crow speaks to a crowd of supporters about the ambitious project. Photo by Lisa Benitez
Visa Colori, chalk art, June 2012, artwork
Designed by artist Douglas Rouse, the panoramic mural includes just about every major building and landmark in downtown Houston. Courtesy of the artist
Visa Colori, chalk art, June 2012, downtown, mural mockup on street
Visa Colori, chalk art, June 2012, downtown mural project luncheo
Visa Colori, chalk art, June 2012, artwork
Hermann Square Park - City Hall
Get Directions - 900 Smith Street Houston

The Via Colori Street Painting Festival has produced some impressive chalk murals since it first launched in 2006, but nothing like what organizers are aiming for this year.

At a special presentation for festival supporters, Via Colori event manager Lisa Benitez unveiled plans for what may very well be the world's largest street drawing. Proposed for a full downtown block, the project will measure 250 by 50 feet and stretch across a segment of Bagby next to City Hall.

"It's going to be quite the undertaking as you might imagine," said Via Colori's Lisa Benitez, noting that 40 artists will draw the mural in less than 48 hours. 

Scheduled to be created Nov. 17 and 18, the colossal image will be divided into small sponsored segments to raise funds for the Center for Hearing and Speech (CHS) — a non-profit agency with support from the United Way of Greater Houston that teaches speaking, listening and literacy skills to children with hearing impairments.

During the announcement at La Griglia, CHS executive director Renee Davis noted that the annual Via Colori festival has raised $1.6 million in the last six years and has attracted an average of 20,000 visitors to each event.

"This mural offers us an amazing opportunity to generate regional and national coverage," Benitez told the small crowd of sponsors and CHS board members, adding later in her speech that she is in the process of filing the project with the Guinness Book of World Records.

"It's going to be quite the undertaking as you might imagine. At least 50 graphic artists and architects will and outline the mural layout late Friday night into the wee hours. All day Saturday, at least 40 artists will come in and do the actual mural. We are challenging them to finish by noon on Sunday."

Douglas Rouse, a celebrated 3D chalk muralist based in Colorado, has designed a cleverly panoramic mural of downtown Houston that manages to include every major building and landmark in the skyline. In the end, the project will cover 12,500 square feet.

Newsletters for exploring your city

Daily Digest

Houston news, views + events

The Dining Report

News you can eat

Insider Offers

Curated experiences at exclusive prices

Promo Alerts

Special offers + exclusive deals

We will not share or sell your email address