The Struggle of Small Town Artists


When it comes to Houston, we have it made as citizens. Great food, a plethora of local, thriving businesses, incomparable local musical acts, and a community ready and willing to pull an honest legacy to it’s success. One thing that can be said, is that the art scene is intransigent. We’ve been graced by the likes of painters, graffiti artists, installation artists, sculptors, curator visions and the tireless efforts of varying groups and individuals who come together to make this place not only aesthetically pleasing, but unique. We’ve got plenty here in Houston, but our smaller neighbor town is in its peak efforts to battle creative subjection.

Victoria, Texas, roughly 2 hours south of Highway 59. As many that have had the opportunity to pass it, there might not be much to speak of at a glance. A brand new Walmart, dots of old buildings as repeatedly turned local businesses, long standing old time restaurants and over the past few years, overly crowded streets with what some might consider a rise in traffic comparable to the likes of bigger cities. A conservative town booming with opportunities for oil and construction workers. In many cases, you’ll find a citizen of Houston that will admit with dismay of having originated from Victoria. Some choose better opportunities in business and school, but for the creative minds of this town, there is a feeling of suffocation. And rightfully so. There has been a great sense of artistic repression and lack of support for art, especially in seemingly unorthodox artistic expression. Without discrediting the one long standing art museum and one struggling gallery tucked away in the corner of Victoria, it is safe to say that there is a collective urgency amongst the citizens of Victoria to revamp the shambled art system, bringing forth a variety of something new; schismatic avenues for local artists to take reverie in building a community based on common ground. What you don’t see, as you pass through Victoria, Texas, are the incomparable artists producing radical and quality work, that is surely chipping it’s way through the conservative mainframe built before them. The artists and poets who have moved away in frustration have come back to their home town with a mission of revival. Victoria has seen foundational showcasings, that include collaborations of art, poetry and music of all sorts.

As of late,  there is an unrest for a mural that took 3 days to complete and lots of hard work. Even though it was understood by both artists and building owners that the mural faced being erased, locals say they are unsettled with the short time it took to be decided on its destruction.

Jake Ramirez, reinstated citizen of Victoria and local artist and photographer is currently looking for support for his upcoming documentary of historical overview, “No Culture Allowed”, and states:

“… The documentary is about the cultural changes in Victoria, from when I left as a teenager till now. How much progress we made and how it is still being fought. …I want to raise awareness about street art and help it gain support from our community… Victoria is conservative, but we have been able to slowly crack the door open for other mediums of art and we want to keep that progress flowin’…”

Change is brewing. For more information on how we can extend our hand as a sister city, please visit:

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