This toolkit offers a comprehensive overview of the mural-making process; how to get commissioned; important things to know about contracts; an in-depth look at design challenges that arise in the mural process; step-by-step instruction on mural making techniques including wall preparation, design enlargement, paint application, sealing the completed project; and more.


About the author:

Patty Barrera is a Houston-based visual artist. Raised in Matamoros, Mexico her art seeks to integrate the beautiful, harmonious, culture of her two home countries, and work is heavily rooted in her personal struggle over her cultural identity and experiences living on the border. 

As a muralist, Patty Barrera has completed several murals in Philadelphia, South Texas, and Cuba and worked alongside professional artists on large scale public art projects. She also has a strong background as a teaching artist having provided hundreds of underserved youth and adults with arts education programming through. Patty worked closely with staff to develop mural project-based curriculum, inspire, and guide students in creating individual works of art, designing murals, and experimenting with different media.

Through painting, printmaking, and community arts practices, Patty creates a safe space for dialogue around some of the most profound issues communities and individuals may face. Her work tells stories using richly crafted and emotive imagery to claim and transform spaces into a visual affirmation that reveals the strength and spirit of the community. Her designs promote and encourage peace, positivism and cultural and civic pride. Patty strives to create art that transforms public spaces and individual lives using art as a tool for communication to bridge communities, especially those unheard.


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The Mural Making Toolkit was funded in part by Port Houston through Fresh Arts’ Summer 2022 neighborhood-based public art initiative that aims to give local artists mural training and support through downloadable resource guides, workshops, panel discussions and mentorship to successfully complete a community driven mural project. With the generous support of Port Houston, Fresh Arts will bring this initiative to the Magnolia Park neighborhood with the creation of a mural celebrating the culture and history of Magnolia Park, one of the oldest Hispanic neighborhoods in the City of Houston. 

Fresh Arts Resource Toolkits and Artist Resource Library are a part of an initiative to provide on-demand access to artist business resources on topics such as marketing, finances, fundraising, legal issues, self-care, and other artist business essentials. Resource Toolkits provide how-to information plus tips and advice from the lens of local artists.

Fresh Arts Resource Toolkits are written with the help of local artists, creative leaders, and subject matter experts and made possible with generous support from Houston Endowment and the National Endowment for the Arts.