Downtown Austin Alliance Foundation launches free bike ride art mural tour March 12
Residents can tour several downtown Austin murals on a bike ride March 12, including one by Canadian artist Sandra Chevrier and Shepard Fairey, American street artist and graphic designer, on the side of The LINE on Congress Avenue. (Courtesy Jay Ybarra)
“The main purpose of this event is to bring light to the significance of public art downtown and to highlight creatives and artists, organizations, local business community, residents—everybody in and around downtown—who are a part of public art projects to make them successful or to make them happen,” said Raasin McIntosh, Parks and Placemaking director at the Downtown Austin Alliance.
The free tour starts at 9 a.m. March 12 at the “We Belong Here” mural at the corner of East Sixth and San Marcos streets. It follows an interactive online map to a list of highlighted murals and ends at the Republic Square, where there will be SFC Farmers Market, live music and live art, and local artists meet the community and answer questions. While registration is required, the tour is free and open to the public, and residents can either join in person or plan a self-guided tour using the map at a later date.
Residents may bring their own bikes or rent ones nearby. Bikers can click on the number of the mural for details or scan the QR code at each location to learn about each mural piece and the highlighted artist organization.
Many activities are planned for the event: An artist will be on-site at the Lamar Boulevard bridge location painting and repairing her mural; there will also be live art by Niz and live music by Saul Paul. The art mural tour is also available online through the camera lens of artist and street photographer Jay Ybarra.
It is a significant move by the Downtown Austin Alliance Foundation to create initiatives, events and programs that aim to bring people together from all different platforms and organizations and areas in the city to uplift the creative community, said McIntosh, who has been working on components of the bike ride tour since October.
The bike ride that begins at 9 a.m. will tour at a casual pace at about 5 miles an hour. McIntosh recommends dressing warm with some earmuffs and gloves.
The foundation, an extension of the Downtown Austin Alliance advocacy group, plans the murals on vacant walls to beautify the city through initiatives that build relationships with local artists and give back in an impactful way. It commissioned some of the showcased murals in the tour and is planning to having more curated art and public arts launches.
The March 12 bike ride is led by the Black History Bike Ride. Register here for the free event.
Editor's note: This post was updated to reflect the correct name of the organization where Raasin McIntosh works.