(HOUSTON, TX – August 28, 2015) Native Houstonian and veteran graffiti artist, Mario E. Figueroa, Jr. aka GONZO247, along with co-founding director, Carolyn Casey-Figueroa and a growing board of advisors and donors, announces the establishment of a new museum in Houston, Texas. The Graffiti and Street Art Museum of Texas (GASAM Texas) is dedicated to the exploration of graffiti and street art history and plans on opening its temporary location in Houston, Texas January 1, 2016 until a more permanent home can be acquired. In the mean-time the museum will conduct pop-up community engagements and events that fall in line with its mission.
The GASAM Texas is established as a 501(c)(3) corporation that is committed to providing the public, artists and scholars of the creative arts with a visual showcase and destination for graffiti and street art not only providing permanent and visiting exhibitions but also providing a forum for the public to explore their own artistic talents with on-site lectures and interactive workshops. The museum will strive to preserve street art history by authenticating historical time lines of the graffiti and street art movements, while also promoting the art forms of today’s creative artistic community.
For the last 25 years The GASAM Texas’ co-founder, Mario Figueroa, Jr., has exhibited and promoted graffiti and street art of his own and others showcasing it as an art form. At an early time in his career, around 1990 he made the decision to step out from the shadows to be an advocate of the culture and art forms with the hopes of graffiti and street art gaining the recognition it deserved. The museum was spawned from this continued mission and his experiences at his studio / gallery, Aerosol Warfare, a Houston icon in itself. In the most recent years, visitors to Houston would ask Figueroa if the Aerosol Warfare “museum” was open, assuming it to be more of a ticketed tourist attraction. This pointed to the vision of a museum, which made the most sense for his next steps as an advocate for the graffiti and street arts, The GASAM Texas. The aim of The GASAM Texas is to build a home that showcases historical timelines for these typically ephemeral art forms through art exhibitions, film collection installations and programming. “I cannot claim that this is the first graffiti and street art museum, because the art forms have been making the streets their museum for decades, but I am proud to announce that this will be a first of its kind and hope it adds to the lure of visiting Houston.”
Figueroa’s love for street art and graffiti was nurtured while growing up in Houston, Texas where he was born. He is self-taught known not only for his long time career as an artist but also as a founder and owner of Aerosol Warfare (http://www.aerosolwarfare.com/) with a proven track history in the local art community for over 25 years. He is a visionary, professional artist and arts leader in his field. Among his many achievements are: design and painting of the popular, recognizable “Houston Is…” Mural with The Greater Houston Convention and Visitors Bureau (GHCVB) (Houston, TX 2013); design and painting of the Downtown Public Library Parking Garage Mural (Houston, TX, 2011); production of art for the City of Houston Art Collection at The Houston Permitting Building; interview for the Center for Arts Leadership Archives at University of Houston, (2013); a reference to him and his work in The History of American Graffiti, (2011), his oral history recording for The Houston Metropolitan Research Center and much more.
The Graffiti and Street Art Museum of Texas will kick off its introduction to the community with cultural partnerships and programming. The organization will participate in the Texas Contemporary Art Fair (http://txcontemporary.com/) October 1 - 4, 2015 and HUE Mural Festival ( www.huemuralfestival.com ) October 17 - 24, 2015 with Houston First Corporation (http://www.houstonfirst.com/).
For more information visit: http://www.thegasamtexas.org/