Greetings from Austin
When I lived in Austin, Texas, my home was a block and a half from “Roadhouse Relics“, a neon art, sign shop owned by Todd Sanders. On the south side of the store, on an outside of the building was the iconic “Greetings from Austin” mural. It isn’t unique, there are similar murals like this in towns and cities across America. This sort of thing isn’t common in Europe for some reason.
The Austin mural is great, it captures so many facets of life and buildings, the Capital, etc. that make Austin, Austin. The mural these days has it’s own Tripadvisor page and reviews. It was painted in 1997 by Rory Skagen and Bill Brakhage. By 2013 it was fading and the stucco rendering had started to separate from the concrete block wall. I talked to Todd the owner, and over the summer, helped by Todd’s PR and management team, and one of my friends, Jenn Walker who then was a director at the Austin Visitor and Tourism bureau, we kicked off and funded a rebuild and repaint of the mural.
As you can see from an image search, thousands of people visit the mural, take pictures and post online. While Austin has much going for it, especially it’s much acclaimed “Live Music Capital of the World” status, the mural must be one of the single most pictured locations in Austin.
Delta, Colorado – The City of Murals
Denver, the State Capital of Colorado, has a great number of murals. However, Delta, Colorado, some 275 miles south west of Denver, via Grand Junction, is the self-proclaimed “City of Murals”. Quite rightly so, it even has a committee for murals. They have some 17 murals, and a map to find them.
Murals in Louisville
Louisville already has a number of murals, including a new mural, painted in 2020, by Chris Carlson and Nate Baranowski, for building owners, Split Mountain LLC. ast 950 Spruce Street, the building used to be the library, and the new mural celebrates that. There are also a number of murals in alleyways, like this Frank Garza mural, “downside up”, completed in 2016 on Via Artista, between Walnut St and Spine St.
I think, an iconic “Welcome to Louisville” mural, in the style of “Greetings from Austin” would be a great addition to the city. As well as art, a mural could serve as a gathering point, a marketing image for the City of Louisville.
Given Louisville doesn’t have a Todd, in order to get a mural, we need to do a number of things. First, we need a location; Second, we need the owners permission and agreement; Third, we need a design; Fourth we need to raise the funding; and finally we need to paint the mural.
Location, Location, Location
This is the first post in the search for a location and the proposal for a such a mural for Louisville, Colorado. To serve the purpose of being a mural, a marketing asset, and a gathering point, the mural would need to be located centrally. For Louisville that mostly means a location in old-town/downtown Louisville. An idea location would be one where people can stand and have unobstructed photograph access.
Unless the mural is painted onto a board, or the wall resurfaced, it should be a flat surface, and probably not brick or wood. Although the Coke-Cola sign on the south side of the history museum shows that wood can be artistically painted. Here are potential locations in downtown.
(you can click or select the pictures to see them enlarged, each picture also has a comment box. You can also read my comments on each location.)
The next step will be to get a consensus opinion on the top-3 sites from the other Louisville Cultural Council members, and then approach building owners.