We know that there's no point to doing anything until you can broadcast it on social media. So to help out your social media presence – and to get you out of the house – we've compiled a guide of the best public murals in Houston to photograph and upload to Instagram. And though there are countless artworks across town that deserve Instagram glory, we narrowed it down to just ten because, hey, you have a lot of other social media platforms to maintain too.
Aside from how photogenic a mural was, one major factor determined whether or not an artwork made this list: How easy it was to actually take a photo of the mural, whether or not you want to take a photo of just the art itself or to shoot someone in front of the wall. Since we photographed all these walls ourselves, we figured out pretty quickly which murals were located in parking lots, had strategically wide sidewalks or were on roads with low enough traffic that we could get a shot from across the street. (Sorry, Rail To The Sea mural. You are unbelievably beautiful, but way too many cars drive down Sawyer Street.) Check out our picks below.
Created by the artist Sebastien Boileau and his company Eyeful Art, this is one of Houston’s most Instagram-famous walls. It even has a hashtag: #BiscuitPaintWall, in honor of the home goods store Biscuit Home, whose wall it adorns. The wall is right next to the store’s parking lot, but if you’re looking to keep your shot car-free, look for a space in the residential areas that lie a block off Westheimer.
This mural on the side of the now-closed Heights post office is yet another of artist Wiley Robertson's LOVE letters to the city of Houston. Many other artists have also added their own murals to the building, so take your time to walk around and admire. The only bummer is — as the many, many signs around the parking lot will remind you — this is not a safe place to leave your valuables in your car.
Corner of Yale and West 13th
If you happen to go after dark to this mural, painted by the Houston-based Mexican-American artist Ignacio E. Sanchez, there are still strategic lights that keep this wall lit up to make your Instagram that much more dramatic.
Looking to redo your outfit before an Instagram photo shoot at Houston’s Pride Wall? You’re in luck because this wall happens to be in the parking lot of Leopard Lounge, a fantastic vintage clothing shop. And if you want to get two for the price of one parking space, across the lot is another Instagram-friendly wall adorned with a geometric teal pattern.
This intricate hummingbird lives on the side of the theater once known as the Frenetic Theater, now named the Pilot on Navigation. (Though our Google Maps would only accept the former.) The rest of the theater and some other buildings on the block are also decked out in murals, so don’t forget to stroll around the corner to check them out.
Corner of Bell and Chartres
This is another two-for-one mural, as these two seemingly separate pieces flow into each other so well. Though you can of course easily split them up into separate photographs, why would you bother?
Corner of St. Emanuel and Bell
Painted for last year’s Houston Urban Experience Festival by the Los Angeles-based artist RISK, this dizzying mural is on the same block as several other very Instagram-able masterpieces (including some that also made this list.)
Off North Shepherd, between West 34th and West 38th
This wall might be a little hard to find. You should be able to spot it if you plug Cottonwood into your phone, then drive a bit past the restaurant’s parking lot and take a right before the active train tracks. The upside of this remoteness means there’s rarely obstacles that’ll block your shot or your ability to mime getting down alongside the 2-D dancing couple.
Corner of Emanuel and Leeland
The concept behind this mural is pretty self-explanatory: Stand in front of it, and it’ll look like your wings let you fly above the Houston skyline. You may have to wait your turn for a photo, though, since when we went in the evening, several other people were already lined up to stake their claim on this vertical real estate. The Sky’s the Limit was painted by artist Lee Washington, also known as The One Lee, according to the Houston Chronicle.
3602 White Oak
You didn’t really think we’d skip this iconic wall, right? Though there are plenty of murals around the city that name-check Houston – the most famous is likely Gonzo247’s Houston Is Inspired mural on the side of the downtown restaurant Treebeards – this postcard-inspired artwork is easy to photograph thanks to its wide sidewalk and the fact that few cars can park in front of it. Plus, you can visit the gelato store Gelazzi, on whose side the mural is painted, and reward yourself for all your hardcore Instagram-ing.
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Honorable Mention: 2850 Fannin
This isn't really a wall so it doesn't really qualify for our list, but the entirety of this building – which is currently closed – is covered in numerous spectacular murals. Just by taking a lap around the building, which has its own parking lot, you can get shots of artworks depicting everything from cartoonish insects to swirling, abstract geometry to the skull-faced women pictured here.
Note: We drove past the pastel-hued wall at Sugar & Cloth at 3302 Canal, one of the most popular Houston murals to Instagram, and it unfortunately looks to be closed down. We offer our condolences to all the would-be style bloggers out there who missed their chance to show off their best fall outfits.