Things to Do

Austin’s Weird Graffiti Park Relocation

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A few years ago in downtown Austin, an abandoned construction site from the 80’s was turned into what is now known as Graffiti Park; it’s true name is HOPE Outdoor Gallery because contrary to popular belief, this is not a park, it is a living outdoor gallery. HOPE is a non-profit organization which provides a place for local artists to display their talents.

HOPE Outdoor Gallery

HOPE Outdoor Gallery Octupus

Photo: Cynthia Spurr

HOPE was born in 2010 and has grown into a wonderful wall of daily, sometimes hourly, changing of talent. According to their Facebook page, “HOPE has broadened [its scope] based on the response from local families, community members and the Austin Creative Class. It has become an inspirational outlet and creative destination for all that come to visit and is recognized as one of the Top 10 Artistic destinations in Texas.”

On any given day, at any given time, you can watch an artist’s creation spring into colorful life or see new film makers at work from a local high school or college. HOPE helps to support and bring attention to “Job Creation for local artists, Foster Kids Programs, and Live Art Projects.”

Paintings and Graffiti and Artists galore

graffitti_park_trashcan

Photo: Cynthia Spurr

What makes this a unique place to visit, is that you will never see the same thing twice at Graffiti Park. You can view everything from abstract to holiday themes to budding newbie artists as young as 5 or 6 or as old as 60.

You can take a date and make a small day of it as you wander around each level of the site. Everything is up for grabs for painting, whether it be the walls, the trash cans, or the bushes — yes even the bushes are turned into local art. The heady smell of paint fumes don’t take away from the beauty you can find on the wall or the majestic view of the city. If you time it just right there is something peaceful and beautiful about walking the gallery to stop on top near Castle Hill and watch the sun setting over the city.

Relocation

graffitti_park_woman_skeltondog

Photo: Cynthia Spurr

There is a small donation for all artists who want to demonstrate their talent at Graffiti Park. It helps maintain the property, but between city taxes and the amount of visitors to the small neighborhood, the gallery is looking for a new home. The wall was never meant to be permanent and relocation was a moot point since after 6 months the experiment would have run it’s course. However, due to the fostering of artists in all generas, local support, and attraction from tourists worldwide, this wonderful little weirdness of Austin is now looking for a new home. Back in August the Austin Chronicle let the community know that Graffiti park has been searching for a new location. Neither the owner of the property, Vic Ayad nor HOPE’s founder Andi Scull Cheatham, want to see this wall of hope come to an end. They have both gone out of their way to keep the colorful concrete a local place for artists for the last 6 years.

Now the owner of the land and the HOPE founder are searching for a better, more accommodating place for the Gallery. The outdoor gallery that has brought such an outpouring of local support and community has taken over the small Austin neighborhood. It is time to make a move and you can help decide the new home for artists. HOPE has posted survey that will help decide where to relocate this popular and fun park.