Writing on the Walls debuts next month producing the largest mural in Austin
AUSTIN, Texas – The Downtown Austin Alliance’s new extension—the Downtown Austin Alliance Foundation—will present a series of public art installations in downtown Austin called Writing on the Walls. The foundation aims to empower locals and encourage social engagement through community-driven initiatives that celebrate the spirit of Austin.
The first project, which will result in two permanent murals for the community to enjoy, will include public events that begin Wednesday, March 4, and conclude the following week upon completion of the murals.
“This project is the result of months of collaboration with partners in Austin and internationally,” Molly Alexander, executive director of the Downtown Austin Alliance Foundation, said. “The events and art installations will spark curiosity, interest and community engagement throughout downtown Austin. We invite Austinites and visitors to take these opportunities to connect with downtown, local and international artists, and each other.”
Writing on the Walls—which spotlights urban art and elevates the importance of art, diversity and public spaces in the community—marks the official unveiling of the Downtown Austin Alliance Foundation. This year’s theme is inspired by the 100th anniversary of the 19th Amendment.
Programs and events were designed to celebrate women and commemorate history. Among the week’s highlights is a new mural that will become the largest in Austin.
Canadian contemporary/pop urban artist Sandra Chevrier led the design and collaborated with American street artist and graphic designer Shepard Fairey on an iconic mural extending 12 stories high. The mural will be painted on the west side of The LINE hotel at the corner of Congress Avenue and Cesar Chavez. The partnership between these artists demonstrates the values of equality and collaboration between the sexes. These internationally acclaimed artists created a design that fuses both their styles and incorporates iconography that evokes the power of women and a significant moment in the history of women’s rights in this country.
Simultaneously, local artist Sadé Lawson will contribute a large-scale mural on the northbound side of Lamar Boulevard, near Sandra Muraida Way. Additionally, 20 other local artists will participate in Writing on the Walls programming throughout the week.
Among the public events are opportunities to interact with the artists and watch the murals be created in real-time. Writing on the Walls programming includes:
· Wednesday, March 4 — Artists begin painting murals at The LINE and Lamar Bridge
· Friday, March 6 — Community kick-off celebration at The LINE
4-6 p.m.: Meet-the-Artists happy hour with Chevrier, Fairey and Lawson
7 p.m.: “Obey Giant,” Documentary screening about the life and work of Shepard Fairey, directed by Academy Award-winning director James Moll followed by a Q&A with Fairey
· Saturday, March 7
10 a.m.-2 p.m.: Four artists from HOPE Campaign will bring their Murals and Mentors program to Republic Square with a gallery featuring four temporary walls, each measuring 6 feet by more than 16 feet wide. During that period, they will create a mural alongside CASA, Heart Gallery of Central Texas and attendees.
7-11 p.m. Paint party at The LINE showcasing an all-female lineup of HOPE artists spray painting live. Guests can enjoy beverages from several breweries while listening to a #bossbabes ATX-curated set along with a special guest DJ set by Shepard Fairey.
· Sunday, March 8 — To celebrate International Women’s Day and to launch SXSW EDU, Writing on the Walls will participate in a panel discussion at Antone’s titled The Public Realm – Art, Activism and Place: How public art can transform our perceptions of ourselves and our community.
Other events during the week include artists visiting local schools as part of the Artists in Schools program. Each artist has partnered with a nonprofit organization. Chevrier and representatives of The Kindness Campaign will visit Gullett Elementary School; Fairey and representatives of the Texas Cultural Trust will visit the Austin Independent School District’s Performing Arts Center; and Lawson and representatives of MINDPOP will visit the Ann Richards School for Young Women Leaders.
From start to finish, the first week of March will incorporate a number of events throughout downtown Austin, including workshops and panel discussions with female leaders, documentary screenings and a pop-up shop at The LINE. All event details can be found here.
The Downtown Austin Alliance Foundation aims to be the trusted resource for charitable giving around downtown Austin, as it brings together passionate patrons and partners with causes that help the area prosper. Writing on the Walls is being made possible through the generous support of like-minded individuals, companies and partners of the Downtown Austin Alliance Foundation.
“I am beyond thankful for the chance to create a mural in honor of female empowerment. Nearly a century ago, women won the right to vote. It gave them a chance to finally be heard and have a voice. My voice today with this piece speaks to the power of owning all of our emotions, even ones perceived as weak. It doesn’t define our capabilities, if anything, it makes us stronger.”
– Sadé Lawson
“Feminism is a forward looking context that keeps reinventing itself, but at the core, it is about women having the rights to be what they’d like to be. I am very honored to be park of this beautiful project alongside Shepard Fairey who is a great artist but also a great thinker.”
– Sandra Chevrier
About the Downtown Austin Alliance Foundation
The Downtown Austin Alliance Foundation is the charitable extension of the Downtown Austin Alliance with a vision to strengthen community, empower locals and encourage social engagement through community-driven initiatives that celebrate the spirit of Austin. The Downtown Austin Alliance Foundation aims to be the trusted resource for charitable giving around Downtown Austin, bringing together passionate patrons and like-minded partners with causes that help the area prosper. For more information, visit https://downtownaustin.com/about-us/foundation/.