How to find 100+ art pieces across Odessa

Published: Jul. 19, 2023 at 6:16 PM CDT
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ODESSA, Texas (KOSA) - There’s a creative side to Odessa and you can use your phone to find every bit of it.

“As a community, we tend to have low self esteem about ourselves and we think, ‘oh well it’s not very pretty here,’” said Odessa Arts Director Randy Ham. “And that’s not true. There’s a lot of great art.”

Odessans can easily find that art because Odessa Arts staff created a map that can open in the Google Maps app on a mobile phone. It’s an interactive guide to more than 100 public art installations across the city.

Many are familiar with the city’s notable murals and statues, but art is in unconventional places too.

Take traffic boxes, for example.

“They have no regard for geography or income level or anything. Everybody is going to see a traffic box,” Ham said.

That’s what local artist Humberto Porras designed.

“If you look around, I’ve just got a few characters and they all represent different parts of Norteño music,” Porras said in reference to his traffic box.

For him, these art elements show a different side of Odessa.

“Growing up here in Odessa, my whole life basically, Odessa’s known for a lot of things, but one thing it’s not super well known for, especially for people living here, is art and creativity,” Porras said.

Mostly, it’s an invitation to explore. Local artist Reno Ramos says Odessans will be surprised at how much art they can find.

“I mean you’re gonna see some cool stuff and experience not just the art, experience a lot of the stores and restaurants,” Ramos said.

The map will continue to update as new art pieces are created.

You can find the map here.