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Open The Door: Captivating Houston Art Installation

I live in Houston and have worked as a nurse. I have a lifelong passion for traveling, nature, and photography (preferably all together!).

Open The Door exhibit

Open The Door exhibit

Collaborative Art Project

Open the Door was a collaborative art project between French artists and those from Texas. The painted doors were in a total of nineteen locations throughout Houston. Eagle-eyed readers of my articles might have spotted some of these doors in the post already written about the massive mural titled Preservons la Creation.

The day my husband and I visited this Houston area called Midtown, tents were still up from festivities the previous night. That was when celebrations for the inauguration of the public art exhibit Open The Door had taken place at that location. We happened upon it by chance.

These doors were in different locations throughout the Houston area. People wishing to view all of the 60 doors would have traveled to numerous sites such as Hermann Park, Texas Children’s Cancer Center, Jamail Skate Park, and Memorial City Mall. Other locations included the Houston Public Library Plaza, Lonestar College, and the Hong Kong Market, where the Vietnam War Memorial is located, among other places.

As often happens after a public art exhibit has ended, some of these exhibits are now in other locations. My husband and I spotted several of these doors in Oyster Creek Park in Sugar Land, Texas. It is fun to view them and learn about the reason they were conceived and learn more about the artists who created them.

There are still some painted fiberglass cows in evidence in some places around the Houston metro area from the Cow Parade that happened back in the year 2001. That was such a fun and successful fundraising event for Texas Children’s Hospital. Perhaps we will discover more of these painted doors in other locales as we continue exploring our beautiful city and outlying areas.

French Artists

The doors were all fun to view on each side. Some had similar themes on both sides of the doors, as some of these photographs taken by me illustrate. Romain Froquet, who executed two of the doors featured above, is one of the artists from France.

Another artist from France is Flavien Demarigny, who goes by the name of Mambo.

Artist Patrick Medrano

Patrick Medrano is a multi-talented artist. He creates sculptures along with many other types of art. We were first introduced to his work in a public art exhibit on Heights Boulevard in the “True North” exhibit.

Aerosol Warfare

Anyone driving past Treebeards Restaurant in downtown Houston can hardly miss the commissioned eye-popping mural on the parking lot side of the building. The Aerosol Warfare Crew created it.

Mario Enrique Figueroa, Jr. was one of the principal creators of this group. He signs his work Gonzo 247. Their graffiti type art is in numerous public places all across the Houston area.

Symbolic Meaning and Intent

Figuratively speaking, every time we open a door, endless possibilities stretch out ahead of us. We can learn, experience, and grow. Did you notice the embryos painted on the doors by Gonzo 247? Embryonic ideas can change the world for good if brought to life and put into positive actions.

Strengthening cultural awareness between Texas and France was one of the objectives of this public art project. France and the State of Texas are similar in size, with Texas being slightly larger. Twelve professional participating artists from each location took part in this art project. Professors and students were also involved.

A non-profit cultural organization called Texan-French Alliance for the Arts along with the 9eme Concept, which is a Paris art collective organized this exhibit. The debut happened in the spring of 2013, and these doors were on display for a total of two weeks.

Since that time, as already noted, these art doors are now dispersed into many other locations.

Open The Door Houston Artists

Tierney Malone is one of the artists living in Houston. His works of art have been exhibited in numerous places in the U.S. and are widely collected. Some of his work is in our Museum of Fine Arts, Houston.

The painting of the octopus by Houston artist Karla Morales is eye-catching.

Rahul Mitra grew up in India and now lives and works in Houston. You can read much more about this enterprising artist by clicking on a link at the end of this post.

The Graffiti art of Daniel Anguilu is in many areas around Houston. Mr. Anguilu painted an entire side of Cecil’s Pub. We have also seen his stained glass-like graffiti work on Silver Street Studios, among other places.

Open The Door Public Art Exhibit

These doors are but a small sample of the type of art shown during this Open the Door exhibit. Their written goal of “focusing on intercultural understanding” with the hopeful result of breaking down “social barriers and cultural stereotypes” was hopefully begun. Perhaps a few cultural doors were at least cracked opened.

Enlightened leadership is spiritual if we understand spirituality not as some kind of religious dogma or ideology but as the domain of awareness where we experience values like truth, goodness, beauty, love and compassion, and also intuition, creativity, insight and focused attention.

— Deepak Chopra


© 2020 Peggy Woods


Peggy Woods (author) from Houston, Texas on September 23, 2020:

Hi Sally,

We have seen many of these painted doors permanently installed in many areas all across Houston metro. It is always fun to discover them.

Sally on September 23, 2020:

Thanks for showing this unique art exhibit. Must have been fun to view it in person.

Peggy Woods (author) from Houston, Texas on May 28, 2020:

Hi FlourishAnyway,

Many of these doors have found permanent spots in lovely parks around the Houston metro area. We have arts communities of homes in the Houston area, and I will bet that some of their front doors have some eye-catching designs. When we venture out again, post pandemic, I'll see if I can photograph some of them.

FlourishAnyway from USA on May 27, 2020:

I love this funky eclectic style. It would be awesome if it were in a more permanent setting, perhaps with trees and a lake, ducks, etc. I could just imagine a neat arts neighborhood with front doors commissioned to be painted by artists. That would be grand

Peggy Woods (author) from Houston, Texas on April 07, 2020:

Hi Bill,

We do embrace the arts here in Houston. I am happy to share them with you and others who may choose to come here someday. Even for those who do not, at least they can get an impression of what our area has to offer.

Peggy Woods (author) from Houston, Texas on April 07, 2020:

Hi Ruby,

We enjoy going to museums, but also enjoy these open-air public art exhibits. There is something for everyone in the Houston metro area!

Bill De Giulio from Massachusetts on April 06, 2020:

What an interesting exhibit. Houston does a great job embracing the arts. I must say I am very impressed with your city, which I have yet to visit. And on another note, you are cranking out hubs faster than I can get to them. Keep up the great work, Peggy, I get to most of them in time.

Ruby Jean Richert from Southern Illinois on April 06, 2020:

There is nothing I like better than going to a museum to look at beautiful paintings. I like Deepak Chopra's quote too. This was another enjoyable read.

Peggy Woods (author) from Houston, Texas on April 06, 2020:

Hi Bill,

I think that most of us who live here would agree with your statement. "Houston Rocks!" (Smile)

Bill Holland from Olympia, WA on April 06, 2020:

I cannot adequately tell you how impressed I am with that city of yours. Houston Rocks!

Peggy Woods (author) from Houston, Texas on April 06, 2020:

Hi Liz,

It is amazing how much public art there is in Houston and our surrounding areas. Thanks for reading my articles and being generous with your comments.

Liz Westwood from UK on April 06, 2020:

This is an interesting variation on a treasure trail, as there appear to be so many of these art installations around Houston.

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