Outdoor Art in Huntsville Spruce Up Downtown

By: Michael Oder Email
By: Michael Oder Email

Life can move pretty quickly, even in small towns like Huntsville, over in Walker County. The hectic pace can make you miss the small details that make a town unique.

It's those small things in Downtown Huntsville that has one Art History professor at Sam Houston State University speaking volumes.

I thought I'd chosen the absolute worst time to do a story about downtown art in Huntsville. It was cloudy, the humidity was through the roof and rain was on the horizon. But I soon realized, sunny or not, the art in Downtown Huntsville still shines just as bright.

You don't have to look very hard to find some of the most intricate murals around. Some of the most interesting ones are meant to trick you into believing they aren't even murals at all.

Amy Haggard teaches at Sam Houston State University's Art Department. She says that when you take a chance and look up, you just might be stunned.

"You know, you just see the building fronts, you're driving through traffic and then you do look up and see a famous person smiling down on you from a building, texas history looking out at you. I think that can be a shock," says Haggard.

Shocking for sure.

One mural features polar bears, elephants, dolphins flying over stonehenge and Saturn.

One style, though, seems to be constant downtown.

It's called Trompe-l'œil [pronounced trump loy].

"Fooling the eye," explains Haggard.

It's when artists paint buildings to look architecturally different.

Whether it's a disguise, or a tribute to a Texas Hero, the range of art is varied. That inlcudes the dolphins.


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