Explore downtown Austin through art

the Downtown Austin Alliance Foundation has put together a self-guided tour map of inspiring and iconic murals in and around downtown Austin. Art lovers can follow the map by bicycle, on foot, by scooter or by car.

The foundation’s mission is to ignite the potential of downtown, through artistic and creative spaces that capture the spirit of Austin, by and for everyone. “Ultimately, the goal is to make downtown Austin a more vital and livable place for everyone by bringing together corporate leadership and philanthropic investment to create a lasting legacy in downtown Austin. Austin,” said the Downtown Austin Alliance Foundation.

The bike tour has eleven stops highlighted on the map.

Departing from East Austin, the tour begins at the “We All Belong Here” mural of Lucas P-Li.

“On the east side of Johnnie’s Antiques, one of Austin’s first black-owned businesses, a bold and bright mural highlights the legacy a family works hard to preserve. Founded by grandfather from current owner Dorothy McPhaul in 1918, Johnnie’s is among the last vintage properties on this stretch of East 6th Street,” the Downtown Austin Alliance Foundation explains on its website.

“McPhaul worked with local artist Lucas P-Li on a piece that would showcase black-owned small businesses, leading to the powerful work we experience today with McPhaul, his mother, aunt, and grandfather. father. The mural is dedicated to Austin’s past and future generations.”

The second mural on the bike tour is “Colores de la Cultura” on San Marcos Street and East 4th Street. The mural is 10 feet tall and spans almost 100 feet wide with 20 built-in windows. According to the artists Kimie Flores and Carmen Rangelthe mural is a celebration of the culture and history of the East Austin community, its vibrant hues elicit excitement and exude a strong feminine energy with a Latin and Afro-Latin style.

On a wall of Native Hostel in downtown Austin’s east side stands a powerful mural by local artist Chris Rogers, “If he can’t breathe, we can’t breathe.”

On a wall of Native Hostel in the east side of downtown Austin stands a powerful mural by a local artist chris rogers, “If he can’t breathe, we can’t breathe.” Completed in June 2020, this piece is a tribute to the victims of police brutality. This is the third mural featured in the Downtown Mural Tour.

From there, cyclists can head to “La Colectividad” at 807 East 4th Street. The fresco was made by Mylo Mendez, in collaboration with members of Color Squad. Color Squad is a collective of teenage artists who design and implement public art around issues of sustainability, community and equity.

This work captures the contemporary Mexican-American experience and its relationship to heritage, family, and politics, using influences from Mexican folk art, Mayan and Aztec design, and color palettes from the southwestern states. States, according to the artists.

The 5th mural on the tour is at Brazos Street and 2nd Street. Austin’s vibrantly colored tower, Tau Ceti, was completed in November 2018 by artist Josef Kristofoletti. The piece transformed a previously empty parking garage corner into a stunning optical experience.

The Downtown Austin Alliance Foundation has put together a self-guided tour map of inspiring and iconic murals in and around downtown Austin.

The largest mural in Austin, which happens to be the next mural highlighted on the tour, is on the side of The LINE hotel on Congress Avenue. Rising 12 stories, this iconic mural has already become a new landmark embraced and celebrated by locals and visitors alike.

Canadian artist Sandra Chevrier collaborated with American street artist and graphic designer Shepard Fairey on the design that fuses their two styles and incorporates a collection of illustrations that evoke women’s power and the history of women’s rights in this country. Local Austinites commonly refer to it as the Wonder Woman Mural.

If you’re on North Lamar Boulevard near Gables Park Plaza, you’ll see Sadé Lawson’s “It’s Okay Not to Be Okay” mural. His most significant work to date, the piece is inspired by his personal experiences with identity and mental illness. The theme of this piece is female empowerment and depicts a woman experiencing three emotional states in three different colors.

The 8th mural featured on the downtown tour can also be found on North Lamar Boulevard.

The Be Well Murals by Carmen Rangel, Uloang, Rex Hamilton, Samara Barks, Kimie Floresand Niz G converted 10,000 square feet of concrete walls under the Lamar Street Bridge into a magical tunnel of color. The team of artists aimed to share positive and uplifting messages to promote physical and mental health since being painted during the pandemic.

David H. Henry