The Mayor’s Office of Cultural Affairs (MOCA) is proud to announce that its signature Traffic Signal Control Cabinet Mural Program is back in operation after a one-year hiatus. The program, also known as “TSCC Mural Program,” began in 2015 to curb graffiti in neighborhoods and serve as a gateway for artists to engage in civic art.
“I am delighted to see the Traffic Signal Control Cabinet Mural Program back,” says Mayor Sylvester Turner. “I am excited to see the new murals that will be painted across the city. These murals not only delight the senses of our residents, but also add to the unique character of our neighborhoods. They are part of what makes Houston an Art City—a cultural mecca filled with works of art for all to enjoy.”
Underground Planet Art Studio, also known as UP Art Studio, has been a longstanding partner since the beginning and has been instrumental in establishing the TSCC Mural Program. They have even coined the term, "Mini Murals" for cabinet murals to which they provide project management.
On July 26th, 2023, the Mayor and Council approved a new City contract with UP Art Studio. The Latin American-owned studio, founded by Houston artist couple Elia and Noah Quiles, has a long history of creating murals of all kinds throughout the city, including the Montrose Rainbow Crosswalk, the latest asphalt art project in Gulfton, and the couple's annual Big Walls, Big Dreams Mural festival. They also manage the interactive and informative website, Houstonmuralmap.com.
With the approval by City Council, comes the arrival of new murals to neighborhoods across Houston. As part of Mayor Sylvester Turner’s commitment to investing in more public artwork across the city through the Complete Communities Initiative, 20 new mini murals will be created in areas of the city that have been historically disadvantaged and lack public art. Four mini murals are planned in each of the following neighborhoods: Fort Bend Houston, Magnolia/Manchester, Kashmere Gardens, Sunnyside, and Alief/Westwood.
To paint a TSCC mural, MOCA requires that Houston-area artists are hired and strongly encourages engagement with community on mural design. Cabinets can be sponsored either by Council District offices, City departments, individuals, communities, businesses, or organizations.