Murals materialize in North Austin

Fifth-grade students scan a mural they helped create along a retaining wall at McBee Elementary School on West Braker Lane.

Fifth-grade students scan a mural they helped create along a retaining wall at McBee Elementary School on West Braker Lane.

On May 2, McBee Elementary School in North Austin unveiled a mural one year in the making.

Local artist Ethan Azarian and about 40 fifth-graders who contributed to the piece scanned their final creation located on a retaining wall in front of the school along with school administrators, parents and city officials.

“I’ve done a lot of mural projects, and this by far has been the most exciting,” Azarian said.

The mural is one of several projects happening in North Austin to promote the arts.

The North Austin Civic Association Contact Team recently partnered with local high schools, community groups and businesses to apply for a city of Austin Neighborhood Partnering Program grant.

According to the grant, NACA and its partners must add artwork to 15 area bridges and retaining walls. In exchange, the city will award the group funds for infrastructure, which NACA said in a news release it plans to use to install sidewalks in the area.

NACA officer Melinda Schiera said the painting projects would likely continue throughout 2016.

“There are a lot of neighborhood groups that have come together to work on it,” Schiera said.

One of those groups, Paint the ’58, formed in spring 2015 with the intention of beautifying privacy fences in the 78758 ZIP code, co-founder Janae Ford said.

“We love the uniqueness of the ’58 and want to showcase art and a sense of community and culture,” she said.

Ford said she and co-founder Karen McGarity became absorbed in the mural project with NACA. Paint the ’58 led the May painting of Mexican folk art on a bridge over Quail Creek.
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