New building sized Willie Nelson mural in Austin

A local artist recently finished a new tribute to Willie Nelson in downtown Austin.

The 60 by 20 foot mural is on the side of a building at 7th Street and Neches.
Local artist and musician, Wiley Ross, is painting the tribute, which he expects to finish Friday.

The painting is directly across from the Austin Resource Center for the Homeless.

For several years Adam Brewer, who founded the Heart of Texas Rock Fest, and artist Wiley Ross have wanted to work on this building-sized mural.

“He came to me and he's like, ‘Dude, I've got this huge wall. Let's paint it. Let's make it happen. Let's do it,’” said Ross. 

With the building owner's permission, that dream became a reality this week.

“We ran about 50 ideas by him, we finally settled on the godfather of rock and roll, Mr. Willie Nelson,” said Brewer.

“I mean, I don't think there's anybody that doesn't like Willie Nelson and if they did you might want to be a little suspect of that person,” said Ross. 

Ross started priming and painting the wall by hand Monday.
“This is definitely the biggest project I've taken on in the shortest amount of time as well,” Ross said. 

It's not only a touching tribute to one of Austin’s most famous musicians, with Willie watching over the area, Brewer and Ross hope they can make a difference downtown.

“If you look around here, you'll see there's no litter. Just a week ago, it was covered in trash. We're giving inspiration to the homeless people and the message is to, ‘Don't mess with Austin. Keep the streets clean,’” said Brewer. 

The project will be done just in time for the 17th year of the Heart of Texas Rock Fest. The new Nelson mural will serve as the backdrop for that festival.

“And it's the biggest Willie in town,” Ross said. 

This week was also the release of Nelson's newest album "Summertime: Willie Nelson Sings Gershwin."