Cultural Exploration Destinations North America

The Colorful Walls of Austin, Texas

One of our favorite weekend getaways is to visit is Austin, Texas. Austin is known for its many artistic talents including filmmakers, musicians, photographers, and graffiti artists. If you want to find creative people all in one place, Austin it is!

One of my favorite activities when visiting is to search for murals to photograph. As a photographer, my camera keeps me busy with not only murals but also snapping pictures of unique street signs, graffiti, eccentric business fronts and signage, food trucks, as well as people performing on the street. The challenges here in Austin are the number of cars and people obscuring many of the murals and graffiti. I recommend if you want to do some photography, to go early in the morning as most of the students and tourists are still in bed and businesses are yet to open. (P.S. – you can tell I didn’t always get up early enough!)

Sometimes it’s hard to know where to start when you set out to photograph murals. I created a list for you which includes the name of the art work and the addresses. I recommend you park your car and then walk to the various locations of these murals. The list below will get you started. One of my challenges when I first started snapping pictures of murals is that I didn’t have the addresses for many of them so I found myself driving from one spot to the next. Get your camera ready and put your walking shoes on, because I have a list for you of some of Austin’s awesome murals. (There are many more, I listed the ones I have found so far! I plan to continue my search and will share my finds in a later blog).

South 1st Street

Bill Murray Caddyshack Mural at the Criquet Shirts Store: 1603 S 1st St.

Art for the People Gallery: 1711 S 1st St.

Greetings from Austin Postcard: 1720 S 1st St.

Austin Natural Soap: 1801 S 1st St.

Dave’s Precession Automotive Sign: 1804 S 1st St.

Bouldin Creek: 1900 S 1st St. (Back of building)

Gully Cat Tattoo: 2006 South 1st St.

South Congress

Willie Nelson: 1415 S Congress Ave.

Our Lady by Federico: 1500 S Congress Ave

Tesoro’s Trading Company: 1500 S. Congress Ave.

Smile – 1511 S Congress Ave.

Big Eye (on the side of South Congress Book Store) – 1608 S. Congress Ave.

Jeep Masters: 3822 S Congress Ave.

South Austin

Word to the Wise: 907 Barton Springs Rd.

Swim Bike Run: 923 Barton Springs Rd.

Hawaiian Goddess of the Moon: 923 Barton Springs Rd.

Fresa’s – 915 N. Lamar St.

East Austin Murals and Signs

The artsy East Side has several streets decorated with murals. A walk or bike ride down Cesar Chavez, 6th Street or 11th Street will lead you to the discovery of these artistic displays, many painted by the same artist such as Mez Data. The city of Austin along with art advocates appreciate what these murals do for their respective neighborhoods once seen undesirable. By adding color and character to these walls and buildings, it injected life back into these neighborhoods; hence renewed business opportunities for apartments,  restaurants, coffee shops, wine bars and other retail outlets

Unleash Your Passion: 4th Street and I-35

Prince: E 4th St & Attayac St

Beauty Will Save the World: E 4th St between San Marcos St and Medina St

Junkyard Mural: 1047 E. 4th St.

Cowgirls in Wonderland: 1511 E. 6th St. (Cisco’s)

Buenos Aires Café: 1201 E 6th St.

Old Uptown Bar: 1202 E. 6th St.

Eagle: 1209 E 6th St

LiveStrong: 2201 E 6th St. (back of the building)

Central  Austin

If you are traveling up to the center of Austin, be sure to visit the infamous HOPE Outdoor Gallery, home to many murals by renowned artists. You can wander through the walls of creative design and you will see art work on top of art work. HOPE is actually managed by a local nonprofit organization that was originally designed to help provide muralists, street artists, arts education classes and community groups an opportunity to display large scale art pieces. Due to the need for more space, HOPE will be relocating to Carson Creek at 9507 Sherman Rd. a six acre spacious park.

HOPE Outdoor Gallery: W 11th St & Baylor St

Howdy: 601 W. 6th St.

Many of these photographs of murals and business signage, I had them produced into prints to add color to the walls of my home. I print some on canvas which gives the image an enhanced texture and have also produced some on aluminum. Murals always make for interesting conversation pieces, especially when they are made into a book as I have had some made into to make for a great way to make a coffee table book for put on the coffee table in my living room.   

I must say, I admire the artists that paint murals, to see the image at such a large scale and to create depth, curves, and shades of color that make it look alive. I find it fascinating to watch live videos on YouTube of mural artist spray painting designs and watching the project come to completion. We all must appreciate those with a vision and desire to create beauty on something that was either dead or forgotten. Thank you to all the muralists for their talents and I hope all of you find and appreciate the images I’ve shared with you here.

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