Weird + Wonderful + Colorful Exploring Austin's Street Art
Austin's got a lot to explore
Only in a city so collectively aware of its identity could the proliferation of graffiti be so widely accepted and adored. Austin’s that city. And if you think graffiti is something that kids do to rebel, you’ve never opened your eyes in the Texas capital. Whether images of hope and love, or displays of pride in their hometown, these murals are anything but a nuisance.
Hi, How Are You
Guadalupe + 21st, across from the University of Texas at Austin
Painted by musician Daniel Johnston more than 20 years ago, the iconic bug-eyed cartoon bullfrog named Jeremiah the Innocent made his debut on the album cover of Johnston’s 1983 release, “Hi, How Are You: The Unfinished Album.” This commissioned piece has persisted through a change in building ownership and, true to its musical roots, “Hi, How Are You” is the stuff of pop culture — courtesy of a musician by the name of Kurt Cobain.
Greetings From Austin
720 S. First Street, on the exterior wall of Roadhouse Relics
Recently refurbished, this mural on the side of Roadside Relics is the 1998 recreation of an iconic Austin postcard by artist and owner Todd Sanders and his friend Rory Skagen. It’s loved by Austinites and tourists alike. After noticing the diminishing state of the piece, locals pitched in to raise money for a full restoration. Now, future generations can continue to enjoy this iconic mural.
I love you so much
1300 S. Congress, at Jo’s Hot Coffee
Austin’s most Instagrammed mural is the place for friends, families and lovers to share a graffiti-gram. However, the simple heartfelt message was originally a more personal sentiment from Amy Cook to Liz Lambert, her partner and owner of Jo’s Hot Coffee. Locals were devastated when the love letter was vandalized in 2011. Amy and Liz quickly revived the wall and Austin’s love affair with this sweet spot.
Welcome to Historic 6th
6th Street + I-35 Frontage Road
Welcoming visitors to Austin’s famous 6th Street entertainment district, the bold typography and color blocking on this massive mural are a fitting entrée to the eclectic performers who grace its stages. It was designed and painted by Sanctuary Printshop in 2012 as an homage to Austin as the Live Music Capital of the World.
Smile! even if you don't want to
Hey Cupcake! Food Truck, 1511 S. Congress
Dreaming of a bulls-eye backdrop? What if it came with scene-stealing cupcakes? Welcome to “Smile! even if you don’t want to,” an uplifting mural sprayed only steps from the famous Hey, Cupcake food trailer on South Congress. Take it from us: The perfect backdrop and tasty treats make for a picture-perfect afternoon that’ll have you grinning ear to ear.
United Way of Greater Austin, 2000 E. MLK Boulevard
Spreading love across Austin is what the United Way is all about. Partnering with Creative Suitcases and former creative director John Rockwell, the United Way folks dreamed up a mural that would explore the theme of bringing people together. Growing up in Wisconsin, Rockwell spent summers working on a dairy farm. His love of all things butter led him to the inspiration for the mural. Since the creation of “Butter Half,” it has become a winsome spot for couples from all over. Immortalized in thousands of photos, the now-iconic spot serves as a reminder about the uniting power of art.
Hope Outdoor Gallery
Austin, TX 78742 — in process of moving spaces
If you’re looking to leave your own mark on the city, this is your place. Using the remains of an abandoned construction project, famed street artist Shepard Fairey kicked things off with several large pieces — followed by muralists and street artists who have painted every inch of the three-story lot. The beauty is in the evolution; new art is layered over the old in an ever-changing, ever-evolving art installation. You can even leave your own mark for a fee.