Don’t mess with Texas 2019 Houston Mural Contest

AUSTIN – Aspiring artists can showcase their desire to beautify their community and keep Texas litter-free in the first-ever “Don’t mess with Texas” Mural Contest. “Don’t mess with Texas” and the city of Houston are partnering to host the contest which is open to people of all ages and abilities residing in the Houston area.

“Over the years, the ‘Don’t mess with Texas’ campaign has celebrated the beauty of Texas through art, music and creativity,” said Becky Ozuna, program administrator for the Texas Department of Transportation’s “Don’t mess with Texas” campaign. “We are excited to collaborate with the city of Houston to launch our inaugural mural contest to inspire Texans to get creative when it comes to keeping the state litter-free.”

The 2019 contest is a pilot program and could expand to more Texas communities in the future. To enter the contest, participants are invited to submit original artwork that incorporates the spirit of the “Don’t mess with Texas” campaign and the goal of keeping Texas litter-free. For contest rules and submission entries, visit Entry deadline is 11:59 p.m. on Oct. 18, 2019. The winning artwork will be featured in a prominent space on a building in Houston. The winner will also receive a prize package including a $1,200 digital camera donated by iHeartMedia, an iconic “Don’t mess with Texas” barrel featuring the winning artwork, and merchandise from “Don’t mess with Texas.”

Texas has been a leader in the battle against litter and the “Don’t mess with Texas” campaign has been vital to this success. However, litter remains a problem in the state. Approximately 362 million pieces of visible litter accumulate on Texas roadways each year. The most common forms of litter are food or organic material, such as banana peels and apple cores, cigarette butts and small pieces of paper, such as receipts and gum wrappers. Those who litter can face fines starting at $500 and up to $2,000.

“Don’t mess with Texas” has been educating Texans about litter prevention since 1986. The campaign is the signature initiative for TxDOT’s litter prevention programs which include Adopt-a-Highway, a grassroots partnership with Keep Texas Beautiful, and the community outreach and cleanup event — the “Don’t mess with Texas” Trash-Off. For additional information on “Don’t mess with Texas,” visit

For media inquiries, contact TxDOT Media Relations at [email protected] or 512-463-8700.