One of the things I love the most about being an entrepreneur is that it gives me the opportunity of traveling and immersing myself in the local culture. Within the United States, I always welcome the chance to seek the cultural expressions of American Latinos. Among the things I really enjoyed during my recent visit to Texas, were the Latino murals in Austin, and the many other ways in which Latino culture is ever present there.
Art can tell the stories we don’t often see on TV; and when it comes Austin, which is considered one of the fastest-gentrifying cities in the continental U.S., street murals are proof of the passion, life and contributions of Latinos in that city, despite the challenges they have faced historically, and the current issues of inequality and poverty they continue to struggle with as gentrification continues to push them away.
These murals made me reflect on the fact that there is no Texas without Latinos, especially not one without Mexicans. Despite their many struggles, through art, gastronomy, music and hard work, Austin remains a city that is at its very core, Latina. As such, among the city’s many murals there are the Latino murals in Austin that serve as evidence of the colorful and vibrant ingenuity of our culture, as well as the lives and traditions that have shaped the city in more ways than what many would let on.
As a visitor there, I was able to explore some of its neighborhoods and appreciate many of its murals as they play their part in the identity and DNA of the city. Because of that, the Latino murals in Austin had a greater significance for me because they tell the story of resilience, success, traditions, faith, and life itself that Mexicans and other Latinos have forged here. Latino murals in Austin have served as a connector and as a catalyst of social causes that speak of the dreams and aspirations of Latinos in this city.
If you are headed to Texas, I encourage you to go and see the Latino murals in Austin for yourself. Here are the ones I was able to find with the limited time I had there. They were definitely worth the time and the walk in the Texas heat.
My Favorite Latino Murals In Austin
Selena Portrait. Located on 1619 E. Cesar Chavez Street, getting my picture taken with this one was on the top of my list, because to me when I think of Texas, I think of Selena. Since I didn’t grow up in the US, I experienced Selena as an outsider from the Dominican Republic. Also, I was in my late teens, so the phenomenon didn’t have the same impact as with younger girls of the time. Despite that, Selena is an icon of American Latinos, and especially for Latinos from Texas. Make sure you go check it out, and you get the bonus of the Loteria mural that is on the same wall.
Vida. This one is on the side wall of the Mexi-Art Museum, on the corner of Congress Avenue and 5th Avenue, on the wall facing 5th Avenue. I must confess this one is a bit abstract for me, but it made my list of Latino murals in Austin because it has the word “Vida” in it, and because of its location. I covered the top part of the picture because the edge of the wall was dirty, but it doesn’t take away from the actual mural, just makes it cleaner.
Virgen de Guadalupe
Our Lady of Guadalupe. This beautiful image of Virgen de Guadalupe from well-known Texan artist Federico Archuleta can be found at 1623 E. 7th St., This the original one, signed by the artist as you can see in the picture. However, the image of Guadalupe surrounded by flowers is painted at several other locations. I don’t know if they are simple replicas or they were also made by the artist, what I do know is that it represents the strong Mexican influence in the city of Austin.
Lotería. This mural sits right next to the portrait of Selena on 1619 E. Cesar Chavez Street, and it has been there before the mural. Lotería is a game that originated in Italy in the 15th century, and brought to a territory known as New Spain (what is now Mexico) and became the game of the affluent class. Lotería increased popularity with time and became a tradition at fairs in Mexico. This game is one of the traditions that Mexicans still keep in the United States, and the mural is representative of that.
Refranes. I named this mural Refranes, because of the messages on the wall. I’m not sure if it is called that way. This is also on the side wall of the Mexi-Art Museum, on the corner of Congress Avenue and 5th Avenue, on the wall facing 5th Avenue. I really liked the messages in Spanish, the bright yellow background, and other basic colors.
These Are Other Latino Murals In Austin
I Didn’t Get To See, But Are Certainly Cool