The Ultimate Guide to Murals and Public Art in Austin 2023

Austin’s art is the heartbeat of the city, reflecting its joy, cultural diversity and love of music. It tells a story of who this city has been, insists that we interact with the moment, and encourages us to keep the spirit of the city alive as it grows into the city that it is becoming.

This list is full of statues, graffiti, murals, including Austin’s first mural and some of the most recent ones. Set aside a few afternoons to visit each one, take some pictures, and enjoy the living breathing creative side of Austin.

1) Greetings From Austin

Greetings from Austin Mural

Greetings From Austin (1998; repainted in 2013)

Todd Sanders and Rory Skagen

1720 South 1st Street

The story: This is probably the most iconic mural in Austin and definitely a way to “prove” you’ve actually been to Austin. The mural was the idea of Roadhouse Relics owner, Todd Sanders, to bring more attention to his vintage neon sign business. Guess what? It worked! Not a day goes by that tourists don’t line up (sometimes dangerously so!) to snap pics in front. Our favorite letter is the U, which represents the popular diving board at legendary Barton Springs, the jewel of Austin. Sanders regularly maintains the mural, which includes a protective coating to more easily counteract vandalism.

Why we like it: What is behind the doors and in the windows. Sanders’ vintage signs are immediately iconic and sought out by celebrity musicians like Willie Nelson and Miranda Lambert. Plus, Todd may have thrown an infamous party or two in the courtyard when he lived in the trailer out back. Head next door to la patisserie for a sweet French treat or across the street to Fresa’s for Mexican-style wood fire grilled chicken and palomas under enormous Live Oaks.

2) The Beauty and Liberty of Equality

The Beauty of Liberty and Equality (2020)

Sandra Chevrier and Shepard Fairey

111 E Cesar Chavez St

The story: The largest mural in Austin, this stunning work by Sandra Chevrier and Shepard Fairey celebrates the 100 year anniversary of women’s suffrage. Having the right to vote is worth commemorating, and collaboration was key for this project, as the artists explain, “for me, one of the most important things about this project is that it was created by a man and a woman. The women; we have fought for more than a century for equal rights, for our voices to be heard and for freedom. Men can be our allies, they can support us, hold our hand high and fight alongside us. Let’s be a team, work together to make things change”

Why we like it: this piece of art doesn’t even begin at the ground, it starts on the second floor and reaches all the way up to the 12th, so it towers over you. The colors are dynamic so it can be seen from far away while kayaking on ladybird lake. While you are visiting this mural, be sure to try some tacos at Veracruz All Natural on Cesar Chavez, they are the best tacos in town.

3) Willie for President

Willie for President (2016)

Jacqui Oakley, Erick Montes, and Joe Swec

South Congress Avenue and Elizabeth Street

The story: According to the artist, voting for Willie seems at least as reasonable as voting for some other candidates! While Willie Nelson is known to enjoy fame worldwide, his popularity is rather akin to that of royalty here in Austin, and elicits a rare type of enthusiasm. Commissioned during SXSW to be painted on the side of a men’s clothing store called STAG Provisions, the mural’s image was projected onto the wall to enhance the precision of the original design.

Why we like it: Pose in front of it and with your best f*!% yeah pose, slap on a #willienelson, post it on social media, and you’re golden. Then grab a slice in celebration at Homeslice Pizza around the corner.

4) Tau Ceti

Tau Ceti (2018)

Josef Kristofoletti

Brazos and Second St

The story: Artist Josef Kristofoletti checked out this corner at different times during the day and found that the light bounces off of another building nearby at about 5pm everyday and “lights up the whole corner like a spotlight” he says. He is hoping that viewers consider scale when they look at this piece, “If you look out beyond the wall and the sky, you think about how big our universe is,” he says. “I want to connote that feeling of how small and how precious we are on this earth.”

Why we like it: This is a great place for a well timed photo shoot, indeed, there are often many people waiting for a chance to take a picture. Just get there at the right time of day and be sure to angle the camera upward to catch the whole beautiful prism of colors.

5) Jeremiah the Innocent

Jeremiah the Innocent (aka: the Hi How Are You? Mural) (1993)

Daniel Johnston

21st and Guadalupe

The story: Originally, Johnston drew Jeremiah as his cover art for his demo tape that he would sell around Austin in the 80s. The mural’s popularity soared when Kurt Cobain wore a t-shirt with the image at the MTV Music Awards. January 22nd is Hi, How Are You Day, a city and state recognized holiday that celebrates the life and legacy of Daniel Johnston who struggled with mental health issues throughout his life. It is a reminder to have open conversations about mental health and well being. An award-winning documentary about Johnston’s life, The Devil and Daniel Johnston, can be streamed in multiple places online. Learn more about the Hi How Are You Project here.

Why we like it: Daniel Johnston helped define the overall weirdness of a burgeoning artistic and music scene here in Austin. To us, this mural more than any other, captures the playful, welcoming spirit infused in Austin culture. Just across Guadalupe, on the UT Austin campus, is a weird museum and research library, the Harry Ransom Center. Check it out for free every day except Mondays!

6) Rhapsody

Rhapsody (Installed 2004)

John Yancey and Regina Thomas

1021 East 11th Street, Urdy Plaza

The story: A colorful and playful tribute to Austin’s musical past, Rhapsody is a 50-foot-long artwork that was designed in 2003 by University of Texas Art Professor John Yancey. It commemorates an Austin of the past that was filled with blues and jazz, but also segregation and red-lining. Yancey used old photgraphs of the community to to develop his design. The mosaic is part of a larger project called “Eleven East,” funded by the Austin Revitilization Authority to memorialize African American institutions along East 11th Street. The plaza where it was built, Charles E. Urdy Plaza, is named for a respected community leader.

Why we like it: The art is several panels long and has even more to explore on the other sides. The plaques in the plaza as well as the African American Cultural and Heritage Facility across the street and Huston Tillotson University that can round out your education about the neighborhood. And if you’d like to hear some current blues and Jazz, be sure to check out Kenny Dorham’s Backyard.

7) You’re my Butter Half

You’re my Butter Half (2012)

John Rockwell

2000 East Martin Luther King Jr. Blvd

The story: This bright and whimsical mural is the backdrop for many an Instagram picture, as it invites couples to display their affinity for one another. John Rockwell, the original artist of the “Butter Half” mural, created the piece for United Way for Greater Austin, which still receives proceeds from sales of “Butter Half” merchandise.

Although the original sentiment was wholesome, a vandal recently gave it a new NSFW sheen by convincingly changing the wording to “You’re My Butthole” which prompted a great deal of Beavis and Butthead level amusement and a whole new slew of Insta pictures. The artist luckily had a sense of humor about it, he said that when he heard about it, it caused him to lol. You’ll be glad to know that the work has since been restored to its wholesome glory.

Why we like it: The colors are bright, the love is earnest and the merch is sold for a good cause, what’s not to like?

8) We Rise

We Rise (2017)

by Chris Rogers

1900 E 12th St.

The story: Artist Chris Rogers was commissioned to paint this mural in 2017. It was to replace his previous mural at the same location that had tragically been painted over. This mural, “We Rise” was designed to reflect a vibrant and hopeful East Austin community, including icons of the past, present and future.

Why we like it: While the artist repainted, he was joined by a 4 year old boy, whom he gave a paintbrush. The boy splatted paint on the mural, while the artist remembered what it was like to feel his first impulses to paint. Later, he included the boy in the mural, and you can see him to the left of the blue octopus tentacles at the bottom of the picture. You can learn more about this serendipitous encounter in this touching video about the project.

9) Austintatious

Austintatious (1974)

Kerry Awn, Tommy B., and Rick Turner

23rd and Guadalupe Streets

The story: This mural and the one directly across from it, are in a pedestrian walkway near the University of Texas’ Austin campus. According to the artists, “these murals have been a part of the fabric of Austin for 40 years and have come to represent the link between the old Austin and the new Austin of today,” the artists wrote. “They are a living history book documenting our city and state and have stood the test of time”.

Why we like it: It’s the ultimate series of Austin breadcrumbs! Every element is a shout out to Austin iconography and celebrity, from the Ritz to McConaughey. Check out some sculptures across the street on UT’s West Mall then catch a show at nationally-renowned listening room, the Cactus Cafe.

10) Victory Grill

Victory Grill Mural (2008)

By ​​Trust the Struggle Mural Collective

Victory Grill

1104 E 11th Street

The story: This mural on the outside wall of juke joint, the Victory Grill, was painted in 2008 by the Trust Your Struggle Collective. This venue became a favorite in the 1950’s along the “Chitlin Circuit“, which was a collection of venues in the eastern, southern, and upper Midwest areas of the United States that provided cultural and commercial acceptance of African American performers such as musicians, comedians and entertainers during racial segregation. According to Harrison Eppright of the Austin Convention and Visitors Bureau, “it was the place where Black Austinites could enjoy themselves in a way they couldn’t anywhere else in town, without suffering the indignities of racial segregation. This gave it an air of pride, and it prospered,” he says. “Everybody thinks we didn’t have live music until Willie [Nelson] and Waylon [Jennings] came along, but that’s not true. There was a thriving scene in the city long before then—and the Victory Grill was a focal point of that.”

Why we like it: The mural depicts Texas blues legend Lavelle White, pianist Roosevelt “Grey Ghost” Williams, and Victory Grill founder Johnny Holmes. It is a true piece of Austin history as the Victory Grill was added to the National Register of Historic Places on October 16, 1998. Even though the mural suffered some damage due to renovations, the cafe remains open and hosts blues and jazz shows while providing educational opportunities that link past African-American musical forms and culture with the present.

11) I Love You So Much

I Love You So Much (2010)

By Amy Cook

1300 S Congress Ave, Austin, TX 7870

The story: This sentiment is splayed across a wall outside of Jo’s Coffee in South Austin. The story behind the sentence as posted on Twitter: “the owners of Jo’s are lesbians, and they were drunk and got in a fight and broke up and one of them wrote on the wall so the other could see it when she opened he next day and they’ve been together ever since and they re-write it whenever they repaint the wall.” So there you have it. A simple act of love that has endured and you get to be a part of it!

Why we like it: You don’t have to overthink this. You might have to wait in line, but then you can post it or send it off in a display of genuine love – nothing more, nothing less. Oh, and be sure to order the Turbo at Jo’s and take some time to people watch on their fabulous little patio.

12) Be Well

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Be Well (2020)

by Uloang, NIZ, Kimie Flores, Carmen Rangel, Rex Hamilton and Samara Barks

@raasininthesun @elenizzle @uloang @rexhamiltonart @kimieflores @vivalapainter

Lamar Underpass, beneath Fifth Street

The story: This stunning series of artworks decorates a lengthy stretch of underpass on Lamar Boulevard, where drivers often get stuck at a stoplight. The pieces were designed to encourage us to take care of our mental and physical health, and indeed, just looking at them can calm even the most frustrated road-rager. The group of artists was chosen by Raasin in the Sun, City of Austin Economic Development Department, Art in Public Places and Austin Civilian Conservation Corps.

Why we like it: the space was otherwise a concrete cave, so it’s easy to appreciate how much this art elevates the dream-like experience of driving here. Also, the new work makes some sense out of a former art project of strange blue signs that was expensive and largely not appreciated by Austin Residents.

13) If He Can’t Breathe We Can’t Breathe

If He Can’t Breathe, We Can’t Breathe

by Chris Rogers

Native Hostel

807 East 4th Street

The story: This mural is a powerful tribute of solidarity to victims of police brutality, painted during the civil rights protests of 2020. It features the faces of George Floyd, Mike Ramos, Amaud Aubrey, Eric Garner, Tamir Rice and Trayvon Martin. Also part of the mural is Colin Kaepernick and protesters.

Why we like it: The mural is chilling reminder of the cost of violence in our communities, and also the power of protest. Sitting just east of I-35, the location is a part of the expression, as the highway was used to segregate black and brown Austinites from their white neighbors using racist red lining that happened in the 1920s around the United States and Austin.

14) Hourglass Seating Arbor

Hourglass Seating Arbor

By Phillipe Klinefelter

Govalle Neighborhood Park

5200 Bolm Rd

The story: This massive sculpture was created by accomplished Austin sculptor, Phillipe Klinefelter, out of a chunk of granite and steel. It weighs and astounding 40 thousand pounds. Many pieces of his work are featured at the Austin Bergstrom International Airport, but this one is in Rosewood Guerrero Community Center in East Austin.

Why we like it: This hand-carved granite block has seating bays and a steel trellis that offers support for wisteria for shade, You can sit in the center and enjoy the spiraled shadow that surrounds you in the walkway below, and peer through the granite peepholes.

15) Be Here Now

Be Here Now (2019)

by Jason Eatherly

East Austin Hotel

1108 East Sixth Street

The story: Be Here Now, the simple quote by Ram Dass has been committed to art on the outside of the East Austin Hotel by Jason Eatherly. He wants to remind us to “take the time to notice the details around you, to enjoy each moment you experience, and to remember to never take this life for granted.”

Why we like it: The mural embodies its own advice by highlighting the dew on a flower petal, the delicate wings of a butterfly or the pattern of ridges on a mushroom. If you want to get deeper into the here and now, you can watch the exact moment when the mural was being made in this time lapse video.

16) Stevie Ray Vaughn Statue

Stevie Ray Vaughan Statue

Ralph Helmick

Auditorium Shores

The story: This statue of Stevie Ray Vaughan commemorates the immortal blues legend, and is frequently flanked by roses, necklaces, and was lovingly adorned with a mask during the pandemic. The beloved musician is depicted wearing a broad-brimmed hat, a serape, and cowboy boots. The sculptor, Ralph Helmick claimed that he drew inspiration from Michelangelo’s famous nude statue of David.

Why we like it: This is not only a great place to memorialize a blues legend, but also boasts fantastic views and photo ops of downtown, a beautiful dog park, the Lady bird Hike and Bike Trail and free live music at Vic Mathias / Auditorium Shores.

17) Genesis

Genesis (1950)

Seymour Fogel

402 W. 22nd at University Baptist Church

The story: As the name seems to imply, this is where public art in Austin all began. Fogel was a UT Professor and apprentice to Diego Rivera in NYC on his fresco commissioned for the 1939 World’s Fair. According to Sam Martin, writing for the Austin Chronicle in 1998, Genesis lent “Austin the fashionable aura of a futuristic, Jetsons-like America. More importantly, folks began to recognize the fact that there was an artist who, instead of stashing canvases inside the highbrow world of museums and galleries, wanted to dedicate his art to the neighborhood. For the first time, the people of Austin began to embrace a true sense of community through art.”

Why we like it: Outside of the surrealist beauty of this era’s frescoes, we love it for its brief cameo in Richard Linklater’s Slacker. See it here. Plus this report from the Austin American-Statesman: that Fogel’s murals “startled” viewers and “introduced them to the exciting geometrics of non-objective art.”

18) Willie Nelson and Janis Joplin

Willie Nelson & Janis Joplin Mural (2016)

by Wiley Ross

407 E Seventh St

The story: Originally this mural was only Willie, but Janis came along and joined him when she was painted a year later. While its unclear if the two spent much time together, they are each music icons in their own right, and certainly have a common thread: getting big breaks in Austin. Willie played the first shows at Armadillo World Headquarters, Janis made her first dollars over at, Threadgill’s in 1962. And both of them built a distinct sound that Austin and the rest of the world came to know and love.

Why we like it: While both of these icons are etched in the past, they are also represented rather futuristically here: the mural is an augmented reality piece, and you If you like it, you can purchase it as an NFT.

19) As Above So Below

As Above, So Below

by Stefanie Distefano

El Paso Street between La Mesa and Wilson Streets

The story: This charming neighborhood in South Austin used to be the setting of epic art parties thrown by local artist, Stefanie Distafano. Guests delighted in the soirees that took place in her a one-of-a-kind art home because they were filled with live music, poetry, gorgeous lights, art and food. The artist couldn’t help herself from covering a nearby bridge in a twinkling mosaic that wished for vibrant marine life in the babbling creek below.

Why we like it: This art was meant for discovery of small spaces and the enjoyment of everyday neighborhood life. The artist embodied such real life delights and her influence lives on within this spirited and folksy art.

20) Ivan: fair sailing tall boy

Ivan: fair sailing tall boy (1989)

Mary Boyd

Lamar Blvd underpass between Cesar Chavez and 5th Street

This piece of Austin graffiti has been a part of Lamar Boulevard for a long time, since 1989 when Ivan Garth Johnson was tragically killed by a drunk driver at this underpass. Remembered so thoughtfully by his mother who described his death as “the pacific ocean of pain” she wanted to make sure that his death had meaning and that he was not forgotten. She painted this memorial while her friend covered her from the police, but she was, in fact, caught and arrested for vandalism.

Why we like it: Years later when it was defaced, a younger woman decided to take on the care and tending to this heartfelt memorial that reminds us all why it is so important not to drink and drive. Ivan’s mourning mother now does not have to worry about it, as the memorial has become a part of the fabric of Austin. She says, “I’m so grateful to her because it kind of makes me feel like it belongs to Austin now. It’s not just mine. It’s not just Ivan’s memorial. It belongs to Austin.”

21) The OG Austinite

The OG Austinite

by Luis Angulo @uloang

1728 Barton Springs Rd

The story: This mural adjacent to Barton Springs Pool and Zilker Park showcases the endangered Barton Springs Salamander who relies on the clear, pure water of the Barton Springs Aquifer. Protection of the quality and quantity of water flowing from Barton Springs is essential for its survival. Threats to water quality such as urban runoff, increased development and the risks of a toxic chemical or sewage spill in the urban zone surrounding Barton Springs remain a concern.

Why we like it: In Austin, everyone is always asking how long have you been here, because we are almost all transplants and your Austin street cred is established by greater length of residency. The name of this mural is hilarious because it insinuates that to get to the bottom of who is an “Austin Original” you have to go back to when we we all lived in the slime and hadn’t evolved yet.

22) The Hands that Nurture Us

The Hands that Nurture Us

Ernesto Hernandez

Rosewood Gulf Coast Chop House

The story: This interactive art was unveiled on June 20, 2019, which was part of a fundraising event for Raasin in the Sun, a local nonprofit founded by dedicated to serving local communities through beautification projects. It is located in the yard of the Rosewood Chophouse, a restaurant in Austin’s historic Rosewood district. It features hands, those that lovingly create food, make medicine and nurture children. The two men are portraits of Drs. Thomas L. DeLashwah and Ulysses Young, two pioneering Black pharmacists who provided healthcare to East Austin community members from the 1910s to the 1970s.

Why we like it: This is actually an interactive augmented reality art piece. When you hold your phone up to it and use this app (download this app, Augment El Paso) the mural comes alive with stories from the neighborhood.

23) Hillside Theater Mural

Hillside Theater Mural (1978)

By Raúl Valdez

2100 E. Third St.

The story: This mural is located on the walls and stage of an outdoor theatre in Austin’s east side. It is a 3,000-square-foot mural that was created by Raul Valdez with significant involvement by residents and neighborhood youth. It features Mexican American culture and history that range from ancient civilizations to prominent figures in Mexican history to contemporary life and art. The mural had suffered from deterioration and vandalism, but was fully restored by the artist in 2012.

Why we like it: The themes of freedom and justice ring loud in this art, which used to be in a prominently Mexican American neighborhood. The area is significantly gentrified and developed now, but history has been preserved in this moving community artwork.

24) Pollen Grain

Pollen Grain (2015)

by Chris Levack

Mueller Southwest Greenway

The story: This large spectacle of a sculpture was created by Levack Outdoor Sculptures. The artist behind the work is Chris Levack, who creates outdoor wood and metal art that can both complement and endure the Texas elements. He belongs to a prolific art collective in East Austin called the Splinter Group.

Why we like it: Levack’s creation allows the manmade and natural world to interact playfully together, as vines criss cross over the sculpture making fractions of each circle. Pollen Grain is masterful in its simplicity, at once juxtaposing the scale of a delicate grain of pollen and the colossal planetary heft of steel.

25) Union Pacific Railroad Bridge

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Union Pacific Railroad bridge

by Various Artists

View from Lamar Pedestrian bridge

The story: The train bridge that crosses town lake between the Lamar pedestrian bridge and south first street bridge has long been used as a canvas to reflect the aesthetic of Austin life.

There have been hundreds of iterations of art messages, among them: “Life is Change be Flexible” , “Never Give Up” “Let’s Pretend We are Robots” “I’ve Got Ninja Style Kung Fu Grip” “Focus on One Point and Breathe” are some.

Why we like it: The best view of this art is from the Lamar pedestrian bridge which we encourage you to explore, as it is a quintessential Austin experience. No cars are allowed, only pedestrians and bicyclists. The bridge is arranged a lot like a park, with flower gardens, benches, stunning views of the train bridge and town lake, as well as the enormous thriving cypress trees and hike and bike trail that surround the lake. There are often musicians busking and people enjoying time spent together, taking pictures and drinking in the scenery. Some would say that if you are looking to fall in love with the vibe of Austin, this is the perfect place to do it.

26) The Rise of Masontown

Rise of Masontown

by ,Ryan Runcie,

Attayac St. and E. 5th St.

The story: Masontown, Texas was a Black community located in what is now East Austin. Its boundaries were, Third Street on the south, Sixth Street on the north, Waller Street to the west and Chicon Street on the east. Depicted in the mural are Sam and Raiford Mason, the two brothers and formerly enslaved people for whom the community was named. They bought the first property in this area in 1867. At one time, the area had two Baptist churches and as many as 200 residents. By the 1980s, however, Masonville was no longer identifiable as a distinct neighborhood.

Why we like it: It is actually quite difficult to get your eyes on this mural, as it is several stories up in the air and also set back from the corner, Which makes it all the more magical when you catch a glimpse of the prismatic colors and dynamic depictions of old Austin.

27) Philosopher’s Rock

Philosophers Rock

by Glenna Goodacre

Barton Springs

2201 Barton Springs Blvd

The story: This approachable statue commemorates the regular meetings of naturalist Roy Bedichek, the chronicler / folklorist , J. Frank Dobie and the historian Walter Prescott Webb. These spirited discussions, also called, “Austin’s first literary salon” valued friendship, lively debate, nature and conservation. In the late 1960s to the early 1970s, the Austin Independent School District opened Middle Schools named after all three of the men that are featured on Philospher’s Rock. The sculpture was fashioned in honor of their promotion of the preservation of nearby Barton Springs, a sacred recreational outdoor swimming pool that is filled entirely with water from nearby natural springs. The springs are located in Zilker Park and are treasured by locals, mainly for the temperature of the water which remains a steady 68-74 degrees Fahrenheit despite the soaring Texas summer heat.

Why we like it: We like to play with our art! This sculpture has no barricades, and so invites people to sit in between and pose alongside the men, and children to sit upon their laps and climb over their appendages; indeed, the parts that children frequently use to climb have been polished to a high shine.

28) Larry Monroe Bridge

Larry Monroe Bridge (2014)

Stephanie Distefano and neighborhood volunteers

Little Stacy Park

The story: Larry Monroe is a radio legend in Austin. As an Austin radio DJ for more than thirty years, Monroe promoted Austin singer-songwriters and Austin-produced music on his programs. After his death in 2014, his admirers and friends decided to memorialize his life and career by commissioning beloved local artist, Stefanie Distefano, to create the mosaic on a bridge in Travis Heights, Austin.

Why we like it: The bridge is a sight to behold: built by over 100 volunteers who applied tiles and mirror that resemble cassettes tapes, vinyl records, a Segway license plate, musical lyrics and and a 22 foot musical score from the Townes Van Zandt song, To Live is to Fly. The project is a uniquely south Austin creation, supported by the Austin Art in Public Places program, the Austin Arts Commission, the South River City Citizens, and private donations

29) Historic Sixth Street

Historic Sixth Street (2012)

by the Sanctuary Printshop

582 N Interstate 35 Frontage Rd

The story: The Historic 6th Street mural can be found right off the Southbound Interstate 35 access road. It was Designed and painted by Sanctuary Printshop in 2012, this mural touts Austin as the “Live Music Capital of the World”.

Why we like it: This is an essential tourist stop for a pic, and makes a great backdrop for your instagram feed. Just be VERY careful planning this shot: I35 is a highway that has some serious speeders and the pic can only be taken by standing in the feeder lane

30) I Live My Broken Dreams

I live my Broken Dreams (2022)

by Daniel Johnston

Contemporary Art Museum

700 Congress Avenue

The story: This mural was commissioned as part of Daniel Johnston’s posthumous retrospective, Daniel Johnston: I Live My Broken Dreams. It features several details and prominent characters form other artworks in his collection, including monsters, winged eyeballs, ducks, the Beast, a multi-headed creature referencing the Book of Revelation; Jeremiah the Innocent, a symbol of pure innocence anchoring his landmark “Hi, How Are You,” 1993, mural; Vile Corrupt, Jeremiah’s evil, multi-eyeballed nemesis; and Casper, the ghost of Jeremiah and symbol of spiritual redemption.

Why we like it: The Contemporary Art Museum is a great place to spend the day taking in current art, enjoying the view from the rooftop party deck, the “With Liberty and Justice for All” sign, and reminiscing over Daniel Johnston’s brilliant mind and prolific art career.

31) Willie Nelson Statue

Willie Nelson Statue

By Clete Shields

2nd street

The story: In the 1960’s, WIllie Nelson’s songwriting was popular in Nashville, but he was looking for success as a singer. He actually retired from music in 1972, but as soon as he moved to Austin later that year, he enjoyed newfound success as a performer. In 1974 he produced and performed on the pilot of PBS’s Austin City Limits, and began promoting the show. The statue was commissioned by a nonprofit called Capital Area Statues by and was unveiled on April 20, 2012 at 4:20pm.

Why we like it: Its hardly a trip to Austin if you don’t get in a little Willie Nelson somehow, and this is the perfect opportunity. Plus, you can get tickets to ACL live and take in some top notch live music!

32) Mural At Cisco’s

Cisco’s Mural (2013)

by Nicholas Conrad Miller

1511 East 6th Street

The story: Although there is another popular, slightly more pagan mural on the other side, this mural adorning the West wall of Cisco’s Restaurant, was painted by muralist Nicholas Conrad Miller of the Austin Mural Program with six students from The Art School at The Contemporary Austin. The son of former owner Rudy ‘Cisco’ Cisneros, Clovis Cisneros, relayed to the artist the stories and incorporates input from Art School students and people from the neighborhood. As the imagery converges toward the center, a boy on a swing looks off into the distance, embracing the past while contemplating the infinite possibilities of the future. Cisco’s was recently deemed an Historic Site. Along with Juan in a Million and Joe’s Bakery, Cisco’s was a hotbed of political discourse in East Austin.

Why we like it: The folkloric aphorisms handed down by Cisco are now visually broadcast to the neighborhood. Plus, we love the migas, the beans are crazy flavorful, and the tasty biscuits!

What next?

Map out your Austin mural journey ahead of time and time it so you can eat, drink, and play in the various neighborhoods in between viewings. For a more interactive experience, head on over to our website to sign up for Escape the Box, our immersive journey through Austin neighborhoods. You’ll recognize a number of the above murals on your journey!

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