Keep Austin Weird

Community kicks off fundraising campaign to save iconic South Austin mural

Community kicks off fundraising campaign to save iconic Austin mural

Greetings from Austin mural on South First Street
The "Greetings From Austin" mural in South Austin needs $10,000 in repairs. Photo courtesy of Roadhouse Relics

It's an iconic image, one that is stamped on posters and coasters and available in just about every souvenir shop in town. But the famous "Greetings From Austin" mural, located on the side of Roadhouse Relics on South First Street, also needs extensive repairs.

In order to restore the public art, which was created in 1998, the Bouldin community is rallying together to help raise funds for its restoration.

 "It's a landmark," says Troy Madres, who lives just a few blocks from the mural. "It tells a story and teaches people about their community."

Troy Madres and his family have lived just a few blocks from the painting, also known as "the Austin postcard," for almost five years. During that time, the Madres family has made it a point to snap a family portrait in front of the mural every year.

When Madres, who spent time restoring public art projects in Philadelphia, noticed the mural's deterioration, he decided to take action.

"It's a landmark," Madres says. "It gives an idea of what came before. It tells a story and teaches people about their community."

Together with Roadhouse Relics owner Todd Sanders, Madres is campaigning to get $10,000 in donations from the public to restore the project. If achieved, Sanders, one of the three original artists who created the Greetings mural, will work with teenagers from Creative Action to restore the public art piece.

Creative Action is a nonprofit organization that works with area youth, mostly from low-income areas, on creative, community-based projects. It was important, says Sanders, to get young people from the community involved.

"We could have done it [ourselves] in a few days and just patched it up," Sanders says. "But seeing someone making a living doing art and having the experience of working together is important [for young people]."

For the restoration, Sanders is teaming up with Rory Skagen, another one of the mural's original artists. Along with the team from Creative Action, the duo plans on removing a large portion of the mural, re-priming the wall, and then placing it back on the side of the building.

In addition to materials, the funds will go toward landscaping and improving the parking on the side of the building. Any remaining funds will be donated directly to Creative Action.

The Greetings From Austin Mural Restoration Project kicks off fundraising efforts on Thursday, August 15, at Roadhouse Relics. Food will be provided by Sway, another Bouldin neighbor; drinks come courtesy of Deep Eddy Vodka. The restoration team will be on hand so people can learn in detail about the project. 

The event is free and the fun starts at 6 pm. More information can be found here.