Having grown up in Philadelphia, graffiti is something I’m quite accustomed to seeing. It used to be one of my favorite things about the train ride between Philly and New York – my eyes flitting this way and that, catching hurried glimpses of the colorful graffiti that lined the tracks in certain sections. On city streets, graffiti would often pop up overnight, a sudden explosion of bold line and color, only to be covered up immediately by the city. The artists responsible for the work were mysterious, confined to the shadows. Graffiti has always been this way; a somewhat underground form of artistic expression, often with underlying social and political messages. However you feel about it, many graffiti artists are incredibly talented, and don’t necessarily have an outlet to express their art.
Enter Hope Outdoor Gallery. Located on Castle Hill at 11th and Baylor streets in Austin, the project was developed to give mural and graffiti artists a space to display their work. On any given day there will be artists at work, and it’s truly inspiring to watch them and witness their talent. It’s also one of the largest outdoor galleries in the US, and with its unique structure and location on a hillside, the gallery itself is like one massive work of art. Climbing to the top — where a small castle does, in fact, sit — offers amazing views of the Austin skyline, and even more levels of artwork to explore. The gallery strives to keep all messaging positive and inspiring, and walking around the grounds I found many motivational phrases and images.
Here’s a little peak at this ever-changing gallery! Check out the website here.