South by Southwest (SXSW) is a film, interactive, and music festival that goes on for two weeks of March in Austin, Texas. Fortunately for me, the festival fell around the same week of my spring break from university so I decided to spend my weekend visiting the city. Although I did not attend exclusive SXSW events, I was still able to enjoy the city and the festival’s remnant without paying for it.
I’ve visited Austin several times now and the city’s artistic vibe is very obvious. Visitors can find many murals or graffiti (commissioned or not) almost anywhere. A few of the murals and graffiti spots in Austin have become popular tourist sites that people have come to seek out.
A record store commissioned artist Daniel Johnston to create this mural. It has become very well-known within the collegiate community and has been said to be an epitome of “Austin weirdness.”
The Hope Outdoor Gallery, commonly known as the Graffiti Park is an outdoor gallery open to the public. Artists are welcome to showcase their own creation. Although this place is a graffiti driven “gallery,” I’ve noticed that people have respect of each other. The graffiti creations displayed are not the typical destructive/disrespectful tagging of a property, but rather purely artistic creation and freedom. This outdoor gallery also allows the city to have some regulation on graffiti by providing artists with an open space that they can work on and where most (if not all) graffiti activity can be allocated.
This outdoor gallery is a great place to visit often because the art changes occur frequently. I think that’s part of the beauty and the attraction to this place; the ephemeral art encourages visitors to come back as much to see how differently it has changed. An artist’s creation is short-lived and will soon enough become a canvas for another.
These are just a few of the Austin must-see places. There are definitely places have I visited that were not mentioned as well as places I have yet to visit. I find that I always discover something new when visiting the city.
Austin, I believe, is one of the most fascinating (and different) places in Texas. It heavily contrasts the preconceived notions of outsiders of Texas. Austin is a wonderful place for artists as well as art appreciators.
How did you all spend your spring break?