AUSTIN, Texas — In 1950, a University of Texas professor painted a fresco of praying hands and ghostly orbs around the doorway of a church off Guadalupe Street. A fresco is a painting done on wet plaster so that the colors penetrate and become fixed. The piece, known as Creation (or sometimes Genesis), has been called Austin’s first mural.
University Baptist Church commissioned nationally acclaimed artist Seymour Fogel to create the piece. Fogel was a former apprentice to the famous Mexican painter Diego Rivera in the 1930s. According to reports, Fogel’s mural Creation initially shocked viewers. But over time, Austinites began to embrace this piece.
Eventually, more blank walls in Austin were covered in art that reflected the surrounding community. Some of the most well-known mural artists in Austin are Kerry Awn, Matthew Bonifacio Rodriguez, Chris Rogers, and Raul Valdez. While many remain, some important Austin murals are long gone. All public murals are under the constant threat from nature, vandalism, and property owners who want to paint over them.
To help people enjoy these pieces of wall art while they’re here, we’ve created a map of some of Austin’s key murals.
- 405 W 22nd St.
- Known as the first mural in Austin, this fresco was painted around a doorway outside of University Baptist Church in 1950. A fresco is a painting done on wet plaster so that the colors penetrate and become fixed. The artist, Seymour Fogel, was an apprentice for Diego Rivera in the 1930s. Fogel was a professor at the University of Texas when he painted the mural.
Hi, How Are You?
- 2100 Guadalupe St.
- Texas outsider artist and musician Daniel Johnston painted this mural on the side of the Sound Exchange record store in 1993. When the record store closed in 2003, the restaurant Baja Fresh made plans to tear down the mural and replace it with windows. After public outcry, the restaurant agreed to keep the mural in place.
Photo of the "Hi, How Are You?" mural on 2100 Guadalupe St. (Spectrum News)
- 2300 Guadalupe St.
- The Austintatious mural was first painted in 1974 by Kerry Awn, Tommy B., Rick Turner and their friends. It depicts Austin life in the early ‘70s. When the mural was vandalized in 2014, the original artists spent weeks repainting it.
Photo of the "Austintatious" mural on 2300 Guadalupe St. (Spectrum News)
- 2426 Guadalupe St.
- Artist Matthew Bonifacio Rodriguez is known for painting cats and expressive cartoon-like faces around Austin.
Varsity Theater Mural
- 24th and Guadalupe Street
- This film-themed mural was painted by Carlos Lowry in 1979 on what was then the Varsity Theater. The space eventually became a Tower Records store and then a Wells Fargo bank. The mural depicts actors like Orson Welles in Citizen Kane and Jimmy Cliff in The Harder They Come.
Photo of the Varsity Theater mural on 24th and Guadalupe Street (Spectrum News)
- 24th and Guadalupe St.
- This work by artist Federico Archuleta depicts musicians Willie Nelson, Johnny Cash, Bob Dylan and more. Archuleta’s stencil work can be seen in several locations around town.
Photo of the musicians mural on 24th and Guadalupe Street (Spectrum News)
Kobe and Gianna Bryant Mural
- 2912 Guadalupe St.
- This mural on the backside of Sushi Hi honors the late Kobe Bryant and his daughter Gianna. Texas artist Laced and Found created the piece with help from artists Snuk One and Ricki Loring.
Photo of the Kobe and Gianna Bryant mural on 2912 Guadalupe St. (Spectrum News)
- 1900 E 12th St.
- Artist Chris Rogers was commissioned to paint this mural in 2017 after his previous mural at the same location had been painted over. “We Rise” was designed to reflect a vibrant and hopeful East Austin community.
Photo of the "We Rise" mural on 1900 E 12th St. (Spectrum News)
- 1021 E 11th St.
- This mosaic in Dr. Charles E. Urdy Plaza in East Austin depicts local musicians. The mural was created by artist John Yancey with Luis Alicea and Steven B. Jones. Yancey is an art professor at the University of Texas and focuses on community-based art.
Photo of the "Rhapsody" mosaic mural on 1021 E 11th St. (Spectrum News)
You’re My Butter Half
- 2000 E Martin Luther King Jr Blvd.
- The United Way of Greater Austin commissioned the artist team at Antihero Ink (formerly Creative Suitcase) to paint this mural in 2012. The goal is to highlight United Way’s mission of bringing people together.
Photo of the "You’re My Butter Half" mural on 2000 E Martin Luther King Jr Blvd. (Spectrum News)
- 2100 E 3rd St.
- This mural is the backdrop for the Hillside Theater at the Oswaldo A.B. Cantu/Pan American Recreation Center in East Austin. Raul Valdez painted it in 1978. The Chicano artist created the mural to illustrate community pride. In 2011, the artist led a restoration effort after the mural suffered from vandalism and deterioration.
Photo of "Hillside Miracle" on 2100 E 23rd St. (Spectrum News)
Victory Grill Mural
- 1104 E. 11th St.
- Trust Your Struggle Collective painted this mural on the side of Victory Grill in 2008. The venue became a popular spot on the “Chitlin’ Circuit” for blues music in the 1950s. The mural depicts Texas blues legend Lavelle White, pianist Roosevelt “Grey Ghost” Williams, and Victory Grill founder Johnny Holmes. The mural has become damaged due to renovations at the venue.
Photo of the mural on the side of Victory Grill on 1104 E. 11th St. (Spectrum News)
Together We Are/Juntos Somos
- 1180 Curve St.
- Color Squad, which is comprised of Austin teenagers, created this mural in 2018 to celebrate diversity in East Austin.
Photo of the "Together We Are/Juntos Somos" mural on 1180 Curve St. (Spectrum News)
- 1619 East Cesar Chavez St.
- La Lotería was originally painted by Felipe Garza with a group of East Austin artists in 1989. The mural depicts Lotería, a Mexican bingo-like game with pictures of animals and mythological creatures. The piece was painted over for a SXSW event in 2015. Neighbors demanded to have the mural back. Arte Texas, a nonprofit that focuses on preserving art in East Austin, led the effort to have the mural repainted in 2016. The Selena picture is a new addition to the mural.
Photo of "La Lotería" on 1619 East Cesar Chavez St. (Spectrum News)
Givens Park Mural
- 3811 E 12th St.
- This mural was created by artist Michael Malik Williams. It depicts community members who have become victims of gun violence and police brutality. The piece was painted in 2019 after the death of Andre Davis Jr., who was shot and killed during a robbery in Givens Park near the mural’s location. It was originally painted without the city’s permission. After a push from the community, the city agreed to keep the mural in place.
Photo of the Givens Park mural on 3811 E 12th St. (Spectrum News)
Greetings From Austin
- 1720 S 1st St.
- Artists Todd Sanders, Rory Skagen and Bill Brakhage painted this mural in 1997. The piece is a giant replica of a postcard from the 1940s. "I had no idea in 1997 that there would be tour buses pulling up all day now," said Sanders, owner of Roadhouse Relics, the building the mural is painted on.
Photo of the Greetings From Austin mural on 1720 S 1st St. (Spectrum News)
Bouldin Creek Café Mural
- 1900 S 1st St.
- This mural is located on the backside of the building that houses Bouldin Creek Café.
Photo of the mural behind Bouldin Creek Café on 1900 S 1st St.
I Love You So Much
- 1300 S Congress Ave.
- This mural is located on the south wall of Jo’s Coffee. Amy Cook, girlfriend of the coffee shop’s co-owner Liz Lambert, spray-painted the love letter in 2010 after they’d had an argument. The mural has since been vandalized and repainted several times.
Photo of the "I Love You So Much" mural on 1300 S Congress Ave. (Spectrum News)
Willie for President
- 1423 S Congress Ave.
- The marketing director for Stag Provisions for Men commissioned artists Jacqui Oakley, Erick Montes, and Joe Swec to paint this piece in 2016 ahead of SXSW.
Photo of the Willie for President on 1423 S Congress Ave. (Spectrum News)
Love is the Question; Love is the Answer
- 1115 West Lynn St.
- Daniel Johnston created this mural in 2014 to raise awareness for the Superhero Kids campaign benefiting the Dell Children's Blood and Cancer Center.
Photo of the "Love is the Question; Love is the Answer" mural on 1115 West Lynn St. (Spectrum News)
- 500 E Cesar Chavez St.
- This mural by artist Josef Kristofoletti became Austin’s tallest public artwork when it was completed in 2018. The multi-dimensional piece stands 103 feet or 10 floors. The City of Austin commissioned the piece to decorate the parking garage for the Austin Convention Center.
Photo of "Tau Ceti" on 500 E Cesar Chavez St.