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About Us

Houston Arts Alliance (HAA) is the local nonprofit arts and culture agency that enhances the city’s quality of life through advancing and investing in the arts and diverse cultural programming. The work of HAA encourages Houston’s development and shapes its global reputation by fostering tourism and supporting and promoting the city’s creative economy.

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Public Art

Creating public spaces for civic and cultural use requires artists, designers, architects, and the community to collaborate. By actively fostering these partnerships, both public and private, HAA’s Civic Art + Design program initiates, manages, and maintains public artworks throughout Houston. It serves a vital role as catalyst for change that generates a culturally relevant and rich environment for residents and visitors alike.

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Folklife + Civic Engagement

Houston Arts Alliance’s Folklife + Civic Engagement program identifies and honors the artistic and cultural traditions of the city’s tremendously diverse and various communities and works to address the needs of all residents through engagement, citizen-driven initiatives, and equitable community outcomes. The Folklife program has been in existence since 2010. The addition of Civic Engagement to its portfolio was enacted through an HAA bylaws change in 2016.

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Grants are a fundamental means of promoting excellence in the creative sector. On behalf of the City of Houston, HAA awards approximately 225 grants annually to nonprofit arts and cultural organizations and individual artists through a competitive grant allocation process.

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Capacity Building

Houston Arts Alliance provides voice and leadership through its support of arts organizations and individual artists with programs and services that help build and foster a vibrant and creative community—these programs and services help to ensure that the arts professionals’ creative contributions remain a vital part of community life across Houston and the region.

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Houston Arts Alliance continues to play an important role in arts and culture research projects, initiating and participating in studies that demonstrate the far-reaching impact of arts and culture on our economy and quality of life.

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Get Involved

Looking for a way to lend a hand? Investing in the arts and culture is an investment in the quality of life for all Houstonians. Join Houston Arts Alliance as a donor, member or volunteer!

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Houston Arts Alliance utilizes different vehicles to communicate with it diverse audiences, ranging from the city’s arts and culture community to residents to tourists. Find out more about HAA’s electronic newsletters and connect with us through social media. Our online Press Room provides resources for members of the media.

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Art Recycle Trucks

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Photo: Marc Newsome

Art Recycle Trucks

Funding Source: Percent for Art - City of Houston General Services Department and the Solid Waste Management Department (SWMD)

This innovative project celebrates the City of Houston’s commitment to going green, furthers Civic Art + Design’s placemaking mission, and showcases artworks by local artists CORE Design Studio, Pablo Gimenez-Zapiola, Aaron Muñoz, Kia Neill, Ariane Roesch, Troy Stanley and Iva Kinnaird.

Between 2013-2014, SWMD drastically expanded its citywide Automated Curbside Recycling Program with the goal of providing single stream recycling services to 380,000 homes over 640 square miles. “The art wraps on the recycling trucks help draw public attention to the fact that these trucks are utilized in ‘repurposing’ materials that would otherwise be considered trash. Having these trucks in the public arena helps to create awareness and participation in the program,” explained SWMD Director Harry Hayes.

The ‘Wrap’ Process
Art Recycling Truck artists were selected from a 2013 open call and by a panel of professional Houston artists. From this pool, six Houston artists were commissioned to produce artwork to be transferred onto six Automated Recycling Program vehicles. The original artworks featured on the vehicles, alongside smaller versions of the designs, are now part of the City of Houston Art Collection.

Kicking off the design process, artist Pablo Gimenez-Zapiola photographed a City of Houston recycling truck, then digitally manipulated the photograph to create a whitewashed, blank canvas version. SWMD then provided vector drawings and detailed dimensions of the truck. Utilizing Adobe Illustrator, 3D CAD renderings, and other methods, the artists broke their designs down into five panels. These panel designs were sent to A&E - The Graphics Complex, who printed them on Controltac vinyl and applied them to the trucks by hand.

Once “wrapped,” the Art Recycling Trucks were immediately put to work collecting recyclable materials from Houston residents’ homes. On August 13, 2014, the six Art Recycling Trucks were publicly unveiled outside of the Houston Zoo at Hermann Park, then driven in procession around the Houston Museum District. Two of the trucks, Patterns of Consumption and Green Dream, were featured in the 2014 Houston Art Car Parade.


CORE Design Studio, Patterns of Consumption, 2014.

CORE Design Studio’s Patterns of Consumption utilizes x-ray blueprints of recyclable materials in a harmonious mandala pattern.

Artist Statement
Using the sun as our light source, we created cyanotype photographic prints (blueprints) of transparent recyclables from our recycle bin and from around our studio. Like a haunting x-ray, the resulting ghostly prints of these banal objects become a visual metaphor of their environmental effects and memory burned into our landscape. The mandala pattern, a “revelatory symbol of cosmic truths,” became a natural means to organize and create harmonic beauty out of trash. – CORE Design Studio

About the Artist
CORE Design Studio is a Houston design, art and communications studio founded in 1995 by Fiona McGettigan and Alan Krathaus. The studio focuses on commissions in print, web, exhibit, environmental and multimedia design, as well as public art projects, using a variety of materials and media types. CORE’s client base includes cultural and nonprofit organizations, educational and architectural offices and urban planning groups. 


Pablo Gimenez-Zapiola, Green Dream, 2014.

Pablo Gimenez-Zapiola’s Green Dream features a larger-than-life photograph of fig ivy, photographed by the artist in the Museum District. Green Dream debuted in April 2014 at Mayor Annise Parker’s Earth Day Breakfast.

Artist Statement
This truck is a symbol of the beauty and significant value of nature. But, of course, it is so much more than that. It is in fact a subtle, moving message about my dream for an environmentally conscious community, yearning to fill its niche in the global struggle to maintain a healthy planet. – Pablo Gimenez-Zapiola

About the Artist
Houston-based artist Pablo Gimenez-Zapiola primarily experiments with projections, overlapping, repetition, animation, serialization, long exposure, collage, assemblage and image rearranging techniques. He has shown internationally in Argentina, Hong Kong, the United Kingdom, Los Angeles, Chicago and Houston.


Aaron Muñoz, Mad Tax Beyond the Astrodome, 2014.

Aaron Muñoz’s Mad Tax Beyond the Astrodome was informed by his previous work, Paper Beats Rock and Hornet, imagining the recycling of Houston’s Astrodome with post-apocalyptic flare.

Artist Statement
I have done other public art projects before, and I enjoy the idea of bringing art to a public place where art can be viewed outside the norms of a gallery/museum setting. Many people do not actively go out in search of art, so the chance to put up art where people least expect to view it is an exciting opportunity. My work deals with incorporating an ironic and sarcastic social commentary on the evolution of technology and science and how humans put them to use. Through my printmaking and paintings, I am able to explore the idea of security and safety, constructing images that give light to modern technology. I enjoy the use of opposing imagery—intermixing of innocent and non-threatening with the harmful and detrimental. In doing so, the work will reflect an ironic satire in which I can bring attention to contemporary issues. – Aaron Muñoz

About the Artist
Aaron Muñoz was born in Central Texas, 1982. He received his BFA from Texas State University in 2006 with a concentration in photography, focusing on alternative photo processing. In 2010, Muñoz received his MFA at the University of Texas at San Antonio with a concentration in painting and screen printing. Muñoz’s work has been exhibited throughout Texas, including in Austin, Dallas, Houston and San Antonio. Most recently, Muñoz showed internationally in Wels, Austria. 


Kia Neill, Recycled City, 2014.

Kia Neill’s Recycled City employed a trompe-l'œil effect, depicting digitally manipulated photographs of steel I-beams mangled by Hurricane Ike.

Artist Statement
My piece is a collage of photographs I took of some of the aftermath from Hurricane Ike. The gnarled I-beams and metal sheeting made me think of the inner workings of the recycle truck itself, and I also liked pairing the act of recycling with that of the city turning itself around after such a natural disaster. – Kia Neill

About the Artist
Kia Neill received her MFA from The University of California, San Diego; is a Museum of Fine Arts Houston Glassell School of Art faculty member; and serves as a Houston Community College adjunct professor. Neill’s work is in the permanent collections of the City of Houston (Houston Airport System) and of The Woodlands High School Art Trust. Her 2013 exhibitions include a solo exhibition at The Jung Center, a two-artist show at G Gallery, Lawndale Art Center’s The Big Show 2013 and Disturbance of Distance 3 at Box 13 Art Space.


Ariane Roesch, I Have a Positive Impact, 2014.

Ariane Roesch’s I Have a Positive Impact is a patchwork quilt of recycled materials left over from her previous projects—a culmination and dedication to her previous soft sculpture works.

Artist Statement
I utilize various kinds of fabric to create my artwork. Felt, vinyl tablecloth, linen and cotton, are all materials that are cut and sewn into various projects. For some reason, I like to keep the remaining pieces from the various projects. Since the Houston Arts Alliance project called for a specific piece for a recycle truck, I decided to recycle the scraps into a quilt, where the shape of the scrap determined placement. Each scrap holds the memory of a previous project, so the recycle truck piece is a wonderful culmination and dedication to all of my previous works.  – Ariane Roesch

About the Artist
Ariane Roesch creates mixed media sensory experiences, questioning the physical and psychological structures that make up our every day. Her past exhibitions include soft sculptures, light installations, ink drawings and ukulele performances, among other media. Roesch is the founder of UNIT, co-founder of SKYDIVE Art Space, assistant director and office manager of Gallery Sonja Roesch, and adjunct professor of photography at the University of Houston. Roesch’s work has been exhibited in Amsterdam, Zurich, New York, California, San Antonio, Galveston and Houston.


Troy Stanley, Forest for the Trees, 2014.

Troy Stanley's Forest for the Trees resembles a wooden toy truck. In composition, its nostalgic wood grain design was taken from photographs of his studio’s scrap wood materials.

Artist Statement
I spend an inordinate amount of time thinking about our environment and our relationship to and with it. We live within products that are many times removed from their natural environment. Paper plates, cereal boxes, junk mail, lumber, furniture, shelves, and tissue paper permeate our everyday lives. Much too often we categorize these manifestations as only objects, commodity, and function. In a way I hoped this project could bring these everyday things back to its origin. Something from our childhood, a simple wooden truck, could spawn a memory of when we began to look at the products in our environment as mere things. With the right kind of eye, one can see the forests and the tree lines, hear the birds, walk in the shade, and remember when the leaves fall. One must be conscious of the origins of the everyday—that space in-between where a box is no longer just a box but an entire ecosystem in a far-off and fading landscape. We have to learn why we cannot see the forest for the things. – Troy Stanley

About the Artist
Troy Stanley is a sculptor currently living and working in Houston, Texas. Upon receiving his degree in sculpture from the University of Houston in 2005, Stanley began his professional career with a solo exhibition at Lawndale Art Center. In 2007 he attended the prestigious residency at the Skowhegan School of Painting and Sculpture in Maine, shortly after attending the Kimmel Harding Nelson Center Residency in Nebraska.


Iva Kinnaird, to be announced, 2016.

About the Artist
Iva Kinnaird graduated in 2014 with a BFA in studio art from The University of Texas at Austin. She has shown her work at galleries in Houston and Austin, and is currently participating in the Sojourn Studio Residency at Sojourn Heights of Houston. She also completed a summer residency at School of the Art Institute of Chicago, Ox-Bow, and has served as director of the Doty FAB Gallery in Austin.


July 16
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