Art All Around Us

Sneak a peek at UT's massive new 4,000-square-foot mural before it's revealed


Austin, Amistad América mural at UT, January 2018
Courtesy photo
Austin, Amistad América mural at UT, January 2018
Courtesy photo
Austin, Amistad América mural at UT, January 2018
Courtesy photo
Austin, Amistad América mural at UT, January 2018
Courtesy photo
Austin, Amistad América mural at UT, January 2018
Courtesy photo

Mark your calendars for the reveal of a mega art piece at The University of Texas at Austin. Courtesy of Landmarks, UT’s public art program, a mural by critically-acclaimed artist José Parlá will be unveiled on January 26. The colossal, 4,000-square-foot piece is located in the atrium of Robert B. Rowling Hall, the new home of the McCombs School of Business.

Deemed Amistad América, which translates to “Friendship America,” the title of the mural is a reflection on borders, junctures, and divisions, and is Parlá’s largest and most thematically ambitious project to date.

A public unveiling of Amistad América will begin at 5:30 pm in the Zlotnik Family Ballroom at Robert B. Rowling Hall. Expect a public question and answer session led by cultural critic Carlo McCormick and a reception with drinks, bites, and a DJ. Register here for free a ticket.

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Amistad América by artist José Parlá welcomes visitors to UT's Robert B. Rowling Hall. 

The massive mural, which is more than 4,000 square feet, was inspired by the natural and cultural landscape of Texas and the Americas. It showcases Parlá’s use of collage, impasto, and signature calligraphic marks to render Austin through his eyes, with a color palette that evokes the city's vast skies, nature, and pulsing urban core.

Amistad América was inspired by Parlá’s interest in the human history of migration, trade, and cultural exchanges. Its style harkens back to Parla's history as a graffiti artist in Miami.

“My process in this project started out by making a study in my Brooklyn studio using paint, plaster, and found ephemera," Parlá said in a release. "The work also incorporates transparencies of color and engraved lines that act as close-ups of city grids like the intersection of Martin Luther King Jr. Boulevard and Guadalupe Street in Austin where the mural at Rowling Hall will live permanently.” 

“By acknowledging these geographical and lingual origins, my painting references the rich and turbulent cultural history of the Americas," said the artist.