Houston is a melting pot of culture, community and diversity, an international city that I am proud to call my home. I have lived here for six years now and have seen it transform and continue to change.

Our city is bold, strong, gentle, giving, kind, colorful and determined. I specifically chose those words because when I think of them and close my eyes they remind me of the same strength and values found in the marine world.

When I scuba dive, underwater with my tank, I am one with my breath. All I see is a world of color and ever-growing beauty, the same qualities reflected in the architecture and community of our city. When I imagine someone running through Houston’s web of streets and unique pockets, I also picture the momentum and the shapes and color that flash by. Running (just like diving) allows one to be alone in that moment and to enjoy the beauty of the surrounding environment. It allows one to reflect, be bold, strong and determined.

The visuals that stood out in my mind, while preparing to paint this pieces, are the grace and movement of a spotted eagle ray. These creatures are active swimmers and do not lie motionless on the seafloor. Instead, they are constantly moving. In this work, I have created a deconstructed cloud from their forms and merged it into the Houston skyline.

The colors inspired by the ocean and its inhabitants reflect the vivid beauty and diversity of our city. The lines in this piece flow with movement, representing the pathways and route of the Marathon. I added elements inspired by an intricate brain coral, which resembles lace, to reflect the pockets of busy streets and intricate mazes of our vivid city.

This is a conceptual and symbolic work. The colors and techniques purposefully represent the beauty and the momentum of the Chevron Houston Marathon.

Art work by Janavi Folmsbee –www.janavimfolmsbee.com

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