We Have an Issue: When the Art Gallery Is Everywhere, All Around Us

This week’s cover story is all about Austin street art and murals

On the cover: Candy Kuo's mural at Lefty's Brick Bar (Photo by Jana Birchum / Design By Zeke Barbaro)

Culture Editor Richard Whittaker is a fount of spicy opinions. For instance, this is how he appraised Austin's visual appeal in a recent meeting: "We've got a lot of boring buildings with amazing art." Whether or not you agree with his dismissal of Austin as a city of "concrete boxes," he's not wrong that our street art scene is strong. So strong, in fact, we've got three different stories this week on the subject: Rachel Koper's page-through of the new book ATX Urban Art, which gathers an astonishing 700 pages of street art, murals, mosaics, and graffiti art; Joelle DiPaolo's profile of Austin's first mural and a new interactive site documenting its 50-year evolution; and Richard Whittaker's preview of Austin PBS's Muraling Austin, a three-part series launching March 24. And if all that doesn't completely scratch your outdoor art itch, head over to our Listings section on p.28 for info on the Downtown Austin Alliance's Art & Parks self-guided tour of murals, artworks, and green spaces.

The first round – what we call the "nominating round" – in our annual Best of Austin Readers Poll kicks off next Thursday. I'll speak to that more next week, but I do want to answer the question I get most from readers, which is, "How do I/my arts nonprofit/my dog/my dry cleaner get nominated?" The answer is simply, you vote, and you ask other people to vote for you too. This first round is entirely write-in. You don't have to be an advertiser; in fact, we provide free social media assets to anybody and everybody to help 'em get out the vote. (Pro tip: Make it easy on your friends and followers by telling them precisely which category to vote for you in.) Find those GOTV assets as well as a full list of this year's eligible categories online on Monday at vote.austinchronicle.com.

A note to readers: Bold and uncensored, The Austin Chronicle has been Austin’s independent news source for over 40 years, expressing the community’s political and environmental concerns and supporting its active cultural scene. Now more than ever, we need your support to continue supplying Austin with independent, free press. If real news is important to you, please consider making a donation of $5, $10 or whatever you can afford, to help keep our journalism on stands.

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ATX Urban Art, murals, Muraling Austin

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