Thanks to senior graphic design students at the University of Houston School of Art, a once stark concrete landscape will be a colorful work of art. The Cullen Underpass Project is a partnership involving the University of Houston, Houston City Council, EaDo District, the mayor’s office, county commissioner’s office, city council members Robert Gallegos and Dwight Boykins, and TxDOT in a collaborative effort to beautify this busy thoroughfare connecting four distinct Houston communities.


As supporters of the project, Gateway on Cullen graciously hosted a kickoff party April 13 to unveil the chosen design to the local EaDo community. The event featured food provided by Pappa’s BBQ, music by local artists, and raffle prizes including several Rockets playoff tickets. Sherwin-Williams also generously donated 55 gallons of paint for the project.  


According to an article from UH, the chosen design, titled ‘Perspectives,’ “will cover 22 pillars of the underpass with bright, colorful brush strokes and icons that symbolize the rich history of Houston’s Third Ward, Eastwood, EaDo and the University of Houston.” As part of the project, student design teams met with members of each respective community to better understand how to represent each area artistically.


EaDo is represented by “intersecting orange lines, emphasizing the community’s energy, bike trails and sporting events.” With the help of Gonzo247, a prominent Houston muralist, the students will paint the 22 pillars at the Cullen and I-45 underpass and plan to finish the project by mid-May 2019.