Downtown Mural Tour: Explore downtown Austin through art

The Downtown Austin Alliance Foundation has put together a self-guided tour map of inspirational and iconic murals in and around downtown Austin

Art enthusiasts can follow the map by bike, foot, scooter, or car. 

The foundation’s mission is to ignite the potential of downtown—through art and creative spaces that capture the spirit of Austin—by and for everyone. 

"Ultimately, the goal is to make downtown Austin a more vital and livable place for all by bringing together corporate leadership and philanthropic investment to create a lasting legacy in downtown Austin," the Downtown Austin Alliance Foundation said.

The self-guided tour has eleven stops highlighted on the map. 

Starting in East Austin, the tour begins at the ‘We All Belong Here’ mural by Lucas P-Li

"On the east side of Johnnie’s Antiques, one of Austin’s first Black-owned businesses, a bold and bright mural shines a light on the legacy one family works hard to preserve. Started by current owner Dorothy McPhaul’s grandfather in 1918, Johnnie’s is among the last vintage properties on this stretch of East 6th Street," the Downtown Austin Alliance Foundation explains on its website

"McPhaul worked with local artist Lucas P-Li on a piece that would highlight small Black-owned businesses, leading to the powerful work we experience today featuring McPhaul, her mother, her aunt and her grandfather. The mural is dedicated to the past and future generations of Austin."

The second mural on the self-guided tour is ‘Colores de la Cultura’ on San Marcos Street and East 4th Street. The mural is 10-feet-tall and stretches nearly 100 feet wide with 20 windows built-in. According to the artists Kimie Flores and Carmen Rangel, the mural is a celebration of the culture and history of the East Austin community, its vibrant hues spark excitement and radiate strong female energy with Latin and Afro-Latin style. 

On a wall of Native Hostel in the east part of downtown Austin stands a powerful mural by local artist Chris Rogers, "If He Can’t Breathe, We Can’t Breathe."

On a wall of Native Hostel in the east part of downtown Austin stands a powerful mural by local artist Chris Rogers, "If He Can’t Breathe, We Can’t Breathe." Completed in June 2020, this piece serves as a tribute to victims of police brutality. It is the third mural highlighted in the Downtown Mural Tour. 

From there, art lovers can head to 'La Colectividad' at 807 East 4th Street. The mural was made by Mylo Mendez, in collaboration with members of Color Squad. Color Squad is a collective of teenage artists who design and implement public art around issues of sustainability, community and equity.

This work captures the contemporary Mexican-American experience and its relationship to heritage, family, and politics, by using influences of Mexican folk art, Mayan and Aztec design, and the color palettes of the Southwestern United States, according to the artists. 

The 5th mural of the tour can be found at Brazos Street and 2nd Street. Austin's vibrant tower of color, Tau Ceti, was completed in November 2018 by artist Josef Kristofoletti. The piece transformed a previously blank parking garage corner into a stunning optic experience.

The Downtown Austin Alliance Foundation has put together a self-guided tour map of inspirational and iconic murals in and around downtown Austin.

Austin's largest mural, which happens to the next mural on highlighted on the tour, can be found on the side of The LINE Hotel on Congress Avenue. Topping out at 12 stories, this iconic mural has already become a new landmark embraced and celebrated by locals and visitors alike. 

Canadian artist Sandra Chevrier collaborated with American street artist and graphic designer Shepard Fairey on the design that fuses both of their styles and incorporates a collection of illustrations that evoke the power of women and the history of women’s rights in this country. It is commonly referred to by local Austinites as the Wonder Woman mural.

If you are on North Lamar Boulevard near the Gables Park Plaza, you'll see the 'It's Okay Not to Be Okay' mural by Sadé Lawson. Her largest work to date, the piece is inspired by her personal experiences with identity and mental illness. The theme of this piece is women’s empowerment and depicts a woman experiencing three emotional states in three different colors.

The 8th mural highlighted in the downtown tour is also on North Lamar Boulevard. 

The Be Well Murals by Carmen Rangel, Uloang, Rex Hamilton, Samara Barks, Kimie Flores, and Niz G converted 10,000 square feet of concrete walls under the Lamar Street bridge into a magical tunnel of color. The team of artists aimed to share positive and uplifting messages to promote physical and mental health since it was painted during the pandemic. 

From there, you can head to Congress Avenue and 7th Street for the Daniel Johnston's Work Mural. Commissioned as part of the artist's posthumous retrospective,  Daniel Johnston: I Live My Broken Dreams , this mural features images and details taken directly from Johnston's artwork. 

El Mero Muro is a mural program located on the exterior wall of the Mexic-Arte Museum building on 5th Street and Congress Avenue. With artists and murals rotating throughout the year, this program will continue to bring striking images and an evolving colorful landscape to downtown Austin. 

The downtown mural tour ends at the Republic Square ArtBox. As part of ongoing efforts to improve Republic Square, the Downtown Austin Alliance Foundation commissioned a mural to cover the electrical box located in the park. Local artist Niz G transformed the industrial canvas into a work of art that speaks to themes of intergenerational equity and environmental stewardship – leaving the world a better place for the next generation.  

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