Street Art Austin: Public Art that Makes a Scene

 “Greetings from Austin” by artist Todd Sanders. Located at 1720 S 1st St, Austin, TX (photo source: @thewholeworldisaplayground.com)
 “Greetings from Austin” by artist Todd Sanders. Located at 1720 S 1st St, Austin, TX (photo source: @thewholeworldisaplayground.com)
 “Greetings from Austin” by artist Todd Sanders. Located at 1720 S 1st St, Austin, TX (photo source: @thewholeworldisaplayground.com)

In a recent article, we examined why Austin, Texas is one of the best places in the country to experience awesome art. For those who embrace public art and in particular street art, Austin has phenomenal offerings, enough so that it deserves its own write-up.

Some say the birth of street art in Austin can be traced back to 1950 when a UT Austin professor and local artist Seymour Fogel painted a fresco entitled “Creation” on the doorway of a church on Guadalupe street. The proliferation of street art has exploded with hundreds if not thousands of sculptures, murals, and mosaics colorfully peppering the streetscapes of Austin in the years since.

 

Peace, Love, and Rock and Roll

We’re taking a closer look at the city’s vibrant street art scene based on some prominent themes we’ve noticed, including peace, love, and rock and roll. In a town filled with Instagrammable murals and other public artworks, we’re highlighting just a few.

Murals That Show Austin Has Heart

 

Although the subject matter varies as it relates to Austin’s street art, peace and love abound and are reflected in hundreds of murals and other works of art. Upbeat messaging and positive energy are common themes throughout the city.

A community favorite is the colorful Mr. Rogers mural, portraying the beloved red-cardigan-wearing neighbor whose character has become synonymous with kindness.“Mr. Rogers” mural, photo by Shutterbug Fotos

The massive mural is located on the side of a pizza restaurant and was created by a stencil artist named Niz. It is considered among the most famous and iconic works of street art in Austin.

Where to find it: 1421 S. Congress Avenue at Home Slice Pizza building

Be sure to check out other beloved murals by Austin street artists such as the love-themed “Butter Half” mural, “Til Death Do Us Part” and “I Love You So Much” at Jo’s Pizza (which has a particularly sweet and compelling back story).

Austin Pride on Display

Much of the city’s fabulous street art is dedicated to Austin’s love of……..Austin. We find this level of healthy self-worth most endearing.Historic Sixth Street mural, photo by Jon Fingas

High on our list is the historic Sixth street mural by Sanctuary Print Shop. The colorful mural was created to highlight the many artistic elements that make Austin special, in particular, that it is the live musical capital of the world. What better place to showcase these credentials than on Sixth Street, home to some of the best live music venues in the metropolitan area.

Where to find it: 582 N Interstate 35 Frontage Rd, Austin, TX

 

Celebrating the Music Scene

Did we mention that Austin is proud and loves its music scene? It stands to reason that Austinites would use their public art as an opportunity to pay homage to some of the pioneers and artists who helped establish its musical bonafides.

From blues to soul to country and western, there are myriad works of art representing incredible musicians such as Johnny Cash, Janis Joplin, Steve Ray Vaughan, Gary Clark Jr. and many more. Willie Nelson is among the oft memorialized in Austin street art including both statues and colorful murals.Willie Nelson Sculpture, photo by Jon Fingas

This larger-than-life Willie Nelson bronze sculpture is situated in downtown Austin and depicts the singer-songwriter with his beloved guitar. In 2012, Nelson himself took part in the unveiling of the statue, created by artist Clete Shields.

Where to find it: 310 W 2nd St, Austin, TX“Triple Stripes C” by UGallery artist Janet Hamilton

Wherever you find yourself in Austin, great street art is sure to be nearby. Not ready to make the trip quite yet? In the meantime, you can shop UGallery’s selection of original art, including colorful and vibrant works, and check out new art weekly on our website.