12th and Chicon

East Austin mural that was abruptly removed gets new life

East Austin mural that was abruptly removed gets new life

Revelry presents Better Block Austin: 12th + Chicon
This now blank wall will be the home to a new mural from the same artist. Photo courtesy of Revelry

KVUE — Before a local artist gets the chance to repaint a mural in the heart of Austin's black community, the blank wall will be used to pay homage to one of the most renowned days for the African-American community: Juneteenth, a celebration commemorating the ending of slavery in the United States.

The mural at 12th and Chicon streets, originally created by Chris Rogers in 2014, depicted artists such as James Brown, Michael Jackson, Bob Marley, and Stevie Ray Vaughan. When it was painted over last month, the East Austin community, as well as social media, reacted negatively.

KVUE reporter Rebeca Trejo spoke with Austin's black cultural district, Six Square, who said they reached an agreement for conservatorship of the wall with the owner, Las Cruxes, a concept store and art gallery. Six Square said they plan to have a quote painted in the mural's place before June 19, and then they will commission Rogers for another piece in the same location.

Six Square said they chose the following quote from Thurgood Marshall, the United States' first African-American Supreme Court justice:

"At a time in our history when the streets of the nation's cities inspire fear and despair, rather than pride and hope, it is difficult to maintain objectivity and concern for our fellow citizens. And recognizing the humanity of our beings, we pay ourselves a highest tribute."

Following Juneteenth, artist Chris Rogers said he will paint a new mural, with community input. "Rather than me coming back and immediately start to paint something up — inviting the community to hear their voices — so they feel like they're a part of this," Rogers said.

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To read the full story and see the video, visit KVUE.