Social media enthusiasts looking for that next great photo can thank Hurricane Harvey for the city’s newest artistic landmark. Today, Studio NiaMoves, an eclectic Heights area fitness and dance studio, announced its contribution to Houston street art culture with an electrifying elephant mural on its large east-facing wall at 508 Pecore St.
The project was completed in collaboration with Houston-based visual artist Emily Ding, whose previous work debuted during the 2017 Houston Urban Experience Mural Festival. Ding frequently releases new work at Hope Outdoor Gallery in Austin, as well as mural festivals across the nation.
Following on the heels of Hurricane Harvey, the idea for the newest mural crystalized when the studio offered dozens of complimentary classes, kids camps, and workshops for people needing stress relief.
“I wanted a visual way to highlight the studio's devotion to helping people live a harmonious life by tapping into their inner wisdom, strength and resiliency,” said studio owner Angela Mestre. “The elephant seemed the perfect symbol.”
Titled “Oneness”, the image depicts two elephants intertwined at the trunk. Known for living in harmony with their surroundings and for their immense intelligence, elephants in some cultures are revered for bringing luck and wisdom.
Even the studio’s search for an artist ties back to the hurricane. Mestre found Ding putting final touches on "The Birds Always Come Back," Ding’s 2017 Hue Mural Festival entry. Located near 2000 Lyons across from St. Arnold’s Brewery, the “Birds” painting was inspired by stories of Harvey survivors who dream of better times to come.
In Oneness, the ears of two elephants give the illusion of a single heart and head symbolizing peace, love and unity. With its natural textures, vibrant colors and translucent shading, “Oneness” stands ready made for pictures, already beckoning city explorers.
For more on the artist and the location, follow @mleeding and @NiaMoves. Use hashtags #MuralOfOneness and #ElephantWall for social media posts.
Studio NiaMoves (www.niamoves.com) is an eclectic fitness and dance studio at 508 Pecore in the Heights offering weekly classes in Nia, Yoga, Belly dance, Pilates, Zumba, Pound, Body of Movement, African dance and the Bollywood style workout Doonya, as well as monthly sessions in SuryaSoul, a conscious embodied dance experience, Trance Dance and 5Rhythms. Additionally, the 2,000 square-foot studio is home to a variety of wellness workshops and events.
El Gato Cat Cottage (www.elgatocoffeehouse.com) is adjacent to Studio NiaMoves. As Houston’s first cat cafe, El Gato offers adoption-ready cats in a feline-friendly, cafe-like environment.
For more information, contact
Yvonne Myles, Director of Communications