Art For Everyone

Famous Murals to See in Austin


Photo Courtesy of Penny Moreno

I feel the “i love you so much” mural is famous for being one of the most photographed places in Austin. People visit Jo’s coffee, where the mural is located on South Congress, to take pictures with it every day. I enjoyed visiting the mural again, and even though it is a simple mural it is also my favorite mural in Austin.

Penny Moreno, Reporter

The sun slowly rises on a chilly day in Austin, Texas, and the breeze blows by as people walk the streets of downtown, passing numerous sky-high buildings. Every street has a wall filled with magnificent colors and artistry. As people walk by, they catch a small glimpse of the artwork and are immediately drawn in to look at it.

Austin is well known for numerous things, including music, music festivals, food and art. Downtown Austin is always full of chaos and excitement. The population continues to grow each day as new people move,  and Austin has become a popular spot to move due to the boom of job opportunities and for being a unique city. 

Many people that live here are known for their open mindedness and for their weirdness. There is a saying “Keep Austin Weird” which means every person is able to achieve anything or everything they want to achieve, along with art and murals. 

Art and paintings have always been a visually pleasing part of the streets of Austin. Before moving to Cedar Park, I had lived in central Austin. Even at a young age, my parents and I drove downtown and I was able to see murals and street art. I had continuously seen art all throughout the streets and it astonished me every time how truly beautiful Austin really is. When I was younger my family and I walked down the street in central Austin hoping to thrift some clothes. Down every street, there was a wall filled with colors and lines. It felt like magic as a young kid, every time I saw something with color I was immediately interested in it, and on every wall while walking all the murals were filled with crazy colors of different artwork which were realistic and unrealistic art.

 I feel murals and street art are used to convey a message or help people express themselves. I think this is very beneficial for people because it brings inspiration and brings communities together. One day, I had been walking down a street in central Austin with my mom, and we were able to see four different artists painting their own murals along multiple walls. At the time it looked like a blank canvas filled with lines and sketches, but  I could see the inspiration and the drive these artists felt behind their work. As they were only in the process of sketching their murals, this intrigued me to want to see more of it. We passed by the spot where all of the murals were and each time we were able to see the wonderful progress the artists made each time we walked past them. Eventually, the work was done, and I thought about the whole progress this took to create this beautiful artwork. They had worked and spent numerous hours using their imagination and created an original piece of art.

I feel Austin’s streets are filled with art from artists expressing themselves, which are shown on all of the murals. The most famous murals have been not only a famous tourist attraction but a desired place for even locals to visit. I love the “Before I die” mural created by Candy Chang originally in New Orleans. This mural is located on E. Elizabeth St. and it is one of my favorite murals because when people visit it, it immediately connects the viewer to the mural. I believe this artwork has brung so many people together to all admire the beauty in Austin.

The first mural I visited was the “Hi, How Are You” mural, which was created by Daniel Johnston. Daniel Johnston was a musician and artist who painted the mural and was paid $70 and all the records that he could carry. Johnston and his family created a nonprofit organization to educate people on mental health. The mural consists of a simple and friendly frog saying “Hi, How Are You.” I feel this artwork represents Austin’s authentic self because it really portrays that any piece of artwork can help others in different ways. The mural is located in the middle of the UT campus on Guadalupe and 21st Street, which is always filled with young college students running around from place to place. I thought it was a great experience to be able to see one of the most tourist attractions in Austin and to be able to imagine or sense the meaning behind why the artist created it.

The next mural I visited was the “i love you so much” mural. There are always so many people waiting in line to take pictures with this artwork, and it’s located on one of the most popular streets of all Austin called South Congress at Jo’s coffee. When you’re walking down South Congress there are so many activities to do, like thrifting, shopping, or dining. This mural was made by Amy Cook, she is a musician that created the mural to show her love to her partner Liz Hambert who is the co-owner of Jo’s coffee. Since 2010, it has become one of the most recognized places in Austin. 

The last mural I visited was the “You’re My Butter Half” painting. This spot is a great attraction for couples all over Austin because of its vibrant colors and sweet meaning making it a super cute place to take a picture with your loved ones. It is located on Martin Luther King Jr. Blvd on the property of United Way of Greater Austin. United Way of Greater Austin is an organization that helps support families and help poverty issues in the community. For my first time, I would say that this is a must see spot in Austin and would definitely visit it again. 

After visiting each mural, they all have one thing in common: they bring out the beauty of Austin. I loved seeing artists embrace the uniqueness of Austin by creating anything they want or desire. Overall, art brings out creativity and passion people have, and I’m here for it.