Art & Parks Tour 2023
Explore the Best of what Downtown Austin Art and Parks Have to Offer
Take the self-guided 2023 Art & Parks Tour now!
Explore the best of what downtown Austin art and parks have to offer through our selection of curated murals, artworks and greenspaces. Take the tour on the go with Google Maps.
Want to explore even more Downtown Austin art and parks? Check out our 2024 Art & Parks Tour and our 2022 Downtown Mural Tour.
Commissioned to create 3 pieces for Austin’s Trail of Tejano Legends by the Art in Public Places program, Connie Arismendi honors the musical contributions of Austin’s Tejano and Hispanic Communities through her aqua jet cut aluminum sheet sculptures. Featured on this tour, Una Canción de Fé y Familia pays homage to the Perez and Ramos families for their musical prowess in leading Tejano orquestras.
“Masontown Texas” was an early community in East Austin, named after Sam and Raiford Mason who bought the first property in the area in 1867. It became one of the first freedman areas to be established in Austin before transitioning into an influential railroad hub. The mural depicts the Masontown community’s unique story as a place of refuge for former slaves to build a community and reach economic stability during the Reconstruction era. The “Rise of Masontown” mural by was brought to life by Six Square in partnership with Raasin in the Sun.
“Where the Wildflowers Grow” touches on themes of resiliency through community in an uplifting and beautiful way. This piece by DAAS inspires people to go outside and be in a space where they can root themselves with others. “Where the Wildflowers Grow” was inspired by the following quote by Micheline Ryckman in her novel, “The Maiden Ship”: “Wildflowers are the loveliest of all because they grow in uncultivated soil, in those hard, rugged places where no one expects them to flourish. They are resilient in ways a garden bloom could never be. People are the same, son – the most exquisite souls are those who survive where others cannot. They root themselves, along with their companions, wherever they are, and they thrive.”
Mexic-Arte’s El Mero Muro Program helps artists bring eye-catching murals to the Main Street of Texas, better known as Congress Avenue. With messages touching on powerful social issues and carefully created for a bilingual audience, each mural painted urges passersby to think and reflect on contemporary issues. Murals rotate out periodically and contribute to downtown’s ever-evolving landscape. As of March 2023, featured artists include Kat Cadena, Amado Castillo III and Amado Castillo IV, and Alonso and Gus Estrada and Jenn Contreras.
Art by Jenny Holzer
The Contemporary Austin – Jones Center pulled a quote to feature from Jenny Holzer’s “Survival” series (1983-85) for this bold mural in the middle of downtown. In this work’s original showing, phrases from “Survival” were plastered on billboards, benches and other public spaces as a commentary on everyday living and its intersection with the different environments we find ourselves in. “In a Dream You Saw a Way to Survive and You Were Full of Joy” is one of the many works The Contemporary – Jones Center has on display right now, with a full exhibition of the same name on display inside the museum.
Future Mural Site
Old Bakery Emporium is a beloved historic site in downtown Austin that is undergoing community engagement process to revitalize their park space with a new mural honoring downtown Austin’s history. Old Bakery is home to a rich past of local entrepreneurship, stories of immigrants and movements for social change, and this future mural will pay homage to those stories.
Covering a massive 6,587 square feet, “Wall Painting for Austin” by Arturo Herrera brightens the walls of Waterloo Greenway’s Waller Creek Tunnel Inlet Facility. From the artist, this piece “[reflects] the vital water management systems of the Waller Creek Tunnel and Waterloo Park.” Bold blue and neutral organic shapes interact with each other to showcase the dance-like movement of water systems in Austin.
Tim Kerr & Michael Corcoran
In a mural commissioned by Public City on the North side of Stubbs, one of Austin’s most influential music venues, Tim Kerr and Michael Corcoran worked together to paint an homage to Austin’s music pioneers. Stories and faces of relatively unknown Austin musicians are memorialized in the mural “Unsung Pioneers of Austin Music.” From Oscar Moore, guitarist in the Nat King Cole Trio, to Arizona Dranes, inventor of “the gospel beat”, Austin’s reputation as the Live Music Capitol of the World is rich with artists dating back over a century. Learn more about the musicians featured in the mural here.
Inspired by Oaxacan black pottery, this playful, large-scale sculpture was commissioned by Austin’s Art in Public Places. Designed by local artist Holly Young-Kincannon and sculpted by master carver Joseph Drummond Kincannon of Kincannon Studios, “Blackbird” pays homage to Austin’s Mexican American community. Blackbird exists to bring good cheer, and urges the unrepresented, the broken-winged or darkened spirit to take heart and fly without fear. The sculpture is an icon of Republic Square and was selected for national recognition for public art as part of the Americans for the Arts 2019 Public Art Network (PAN) Year in Review.
RichesArt, Bryana Iglesias & Ernesto Hernández Ramírez
This temporary mural sculpture by RichesArt features important moments in Austin’s past. Each panel features a different aspect of history: Black History Month, Women’s History Month and the Mexican-American history of Republic Square.
Mell Lawrence Architects
With Pease Park’s Kingsbury Commons redesign led by Ten Eyck Landscape Architects came the debut of the ”Tree House” by Mell Lawrence Architects. The “Tree House” gives visitors an immersive tree canopy experience in the heart of Texas. On the upper level, visitors can lie down on a suspended net and look up at the flora and fauna surrounding. As the foliage around the “Tree House” matures, the structure will begin to blend in more and more with the area, blurring the line between steel and nature.
A special thank you to Pease Park Conservancy and Ride Bikes Austin for being key partners in orchestrating our second annual bike tour. Thank you to all of our other partners, sponsors and funders for the project.
Art & Parks Tour Kickoff Bike Ride
In collaboration with Pease Park Conservancy and Ride Bikes Austin, we hosted a kickoff ride to celebrate the launch of the Art & Parks Tour! Over 250 people joined the ride on March 11, 2023. A special thank you to all of our volunteers and speakers for making this possible and bringing our community together to celebrate the arts. Check out more photos from the event here.