Austin might be known as the “Live Music Capital of the World,” but rockin’ music venues aren’t the only things this town has plenty of. Texas’s capital city is also home to dozens of murals. It’s a hotbed of differing cultures and talented artists coming together to create vibrant and impressive wall art. Here’s a road trip covering some of our favorite murals across town.
Jeremiah the Innocent – 21st & Guadalupe St. (Thai, How Are You?)
This Austin fave smiles at onlookers from the side of a building that was once a record store called Sound Exchange, but has since been turned into a Thai food restaurant. Painted in 1993 by county music artist David Johnston, it’s a celebration of mental health and keeping old Austin alive.
Historic 6th Street Mural – 6th St. & 1-35 SB Access Road
Right off of the Southbound Interstate 35 access road, this mural boasts all the things that make Austin great, from its history to its rockin’ music scene. It’s an essential stop for all Austin newbies and makes for a great Insta-worthy photo op.
“Howdy Austin” Mural – 601 W 6th St., Austin, TX (Parlor & Yard)
This mural on the side of Parlor & Yard in downtown was the winning mural from a 2016 contest hosted by RideAustin in 2016. If you look closely in each of the letters, you’ll find a little bit of everything Austin from the saying “Keep Austin Weird” to bicycles, stand up paddle boards and the Pennybacker Bridge.
Greetings from Austin – S. 1st & Annie St. (Roadhouse Relics)
This South Austin mural might just be the most iconic one in town and it’s a must-see on any trip through Austin. Since it was painted by Roadhouse Relics owner and artist Todd Sanders in 1998, the “postcard” bearing significant spots in town has become a beloved part of South Austin and is almost always packed with folks waiting for a snapshot.
Before I die… – 206 E Elizabeth St.
This mural is a more recent addition to Austin’s public art scene, but unlike other murals in town, YOU are encouraged to leave your mark. It’s part of a global art movement that started in New Orleans, and was brought to Austin in 2013 by Vicki Faust, owner of the Art Barn. Stop by to scribble what you desire to accomplish before you die and get a picture with the chalkboard covered in the thoughts and dreams of hundreds of other Austinites.
Willie for President -1415 S Congress Ave.
Maybe your dream is to get a picture with Willie Nelson while in Austin. But since we all know photos with Willie are hard to come by, this psychedelic mural on South Congress store STAG Provisions is the answer. It’s worth a visit just for a selfie with the Red Headed Stranger!
i love you so much -1300 S. Congress (Jo’s Coffee)
This iconic Austin mural has inspired countless others around the state, and been the backdrop for dozens of proposals and pregnancy announcements, but it wasn’t actually a pre-planned art piece at all. In fact few people know that the artwork was a spur-of-the-moment apology in 2010 by musician Amy Cook after she and Jo’s Coffee owner and partner Liz Lambert got in a fight. Yet since it was written, it’s become so beloved by the town that each time it’s vandalized, the original artist is brought back to rewrite it.
This intricate mural is based off the Mexican card game of the same name and features historic moments from East Austin’s past, as well as an incredible portrait of Selena Quintanilla. First painted in 1989 as a tribute to the neighborhood’s Latino community, it was painted over in 2015 for a SXSW art project. The community fought to bring it back, and now the mural stands brighter and more colorful than ever after being repainted in 2015.
Let’s Band Together – 1816 E 6th St. (Whisler’s)
And of course, as we near the end of this road trip, we gotta have another mural that pays homage to Austin’s love for live music. The artwork, which features a beating heart formed by musical instruments was created by famous local street artist known as El Federico who made the designs using his own handcrafted wooden stencils. Frederico also created multiple other must-see murals around town “Virgen de Guadalupe” covering Tesoro’s wall on South Congress and the “Til Death Do us Part” mural outside of the Mexic-Arte Museum.
You’re my Butter Half – 2000 E. MLK Jr. Blvd. (United Way for Greater Austin)
This mural and Austin go together like…well, bread and butter. The bright mural featuring the iconic duo was painted on the side of the United Way of Greater Austin building in 2012 and makes for a perfect photo op without the issue of dodging traffic that many of the other murals in town have. Say “cheese” with a loved one or best friend.