RAIL TO THE SEA
Local artist, Janavi M Folmsbee was selected by Leadership Houston Class XXXIV who engaged in a project called See Houston, Love Houston, Be Houston to create a mural in the First Ward representing its diverse and dynamic arts community. Leadership Houston was formed in 1982 with the goal of bringing together leaders from different communities to increase dialogue, and foster collaboration on projects that would improve the quality of life for all Houstonians.
Beautifully diverse and global, Houston is where Janavi M. Folmsbee settled her international roots and is proud to call home. She has moved between countries and cities to find her own space in this world and to hunt for the universal global connection amongst us. After crossing continents, this hunt has propelled her to search in an element that physically connects us all water. She draws inspiration from experiences through her scuba diving expeditions and is strongly influenced by marine life. She creates ethereal, intricate shapes she calls characters that are meant to invite the public into something very private. These characters she conceptually conceives live in their own world and space,but are somehow in ours. The spatial relationship between the work and the viewer creates a sense of closeness. Creating artwork inspired from the sea for the 5000 sq. ft. wall of 1505 SawyerSt. was quite surreal for Janavi. Her plan was to strategically paint her abstract marine characters using bright colors to reflect the vibrant arts community of the First Ward and Sixth Ward and the Washington Ave Arts District.
Rail to the Sea is her tribute to the rail history, the supporting nature of this community and new beginnings. Though she is not a native Houstonian, Janavi has developed roots and made ties here. She arrived in Houston over three years ago with a pocket full of goals and no ties to this beautiful city. Immediately, she found a space, a sanctuary for her to create artwork in the First Ward in the Washington Avenue Arts District. As she looks back, she is humbled by the doors it opened for her professionally as well personally. Janavi and her work are connected to this place, and she ishonored to have her mural in the heart of it. She hopes to put a smileon the faces of the individuals who are part of the community through her work. This beautiful project is a symbol of gratitude and appreciation for her city and her community.