You know you're stepping inside an honest-to-goodness art party when the first thing you experience is creativity in your face.
Just past the check-in at "Mini Murals: Beyond the Box" at Silver Street Studios Saturday, a wall caked with a collage of UP Art Studio logos painted in graffiti served as a makeshift step-and-repeat where many fine-tuned their selfies prior to being allured by the pièce de résistance.
That would be the ambitious art exhibit that featured many of the street artists who participated in the first phase of the Mini Murals project, which transformed more than 30 traffic signal control cabinets into colorful art. Works by Tra Slaughter, Sebastien "Mr. D" Boileau and Anat Ronen and a myriad more lured visitors who wanted to support the program's future via silent and live auctions.
At the helm of the public art initiative are UP Art Studio founders Elia and Noah Quiles, who were celebrating the conclusion of the pilot phase and the launch of the succeeding challenge: A campaign to fund the painting of more than 100 boxes in 2016.
Chaired by Kathlyn Curtis and Rob Todd alongside honorary chairs Houston City Councilman Larry Green and Minnette Boesel, "Beyond the Box" included daring silk dance performances by Cirque Noir, poetry readings and high-decibel tunes.
Complimentary bevs by Deep Eddy Vodka, Karbach Brewing Co. and Mountain Dew paired well with jambalaya boudin balls from Harold's in the Heights and spreggrolls (a fried egg roll inside a spring roll) from Saigon House.
Amid the crowd of 1,200 were Ernie Manouse, Judge Steve Kirkland, Consul General of France Sujiro Seam, Jeff Weatherford, Robin Davidson, Magen Pastor, Louis Jullien, Francoise and Mickey Henry, Cynthia Alvarado, Diane Barber and Karen Niemeier, Susannah Mitchell, Sandy Fishlock and Allan Rodewald.