Graffiti Park at Castle Hills or the Hope Outdoor Gallery
In Austin our motto is “Keep Austin Weird!” Graffiti Park at Castle Hills or the official name HOPE Outdoor Gallery fits perfectly in this mantra. Graffiti artists have to take risks when applying their craft illegally but there is one well- known place in Austin where graffiti is legal!
The park is not a public City of Austin Park, its private property owned by the Castle Hill Partners (an investment firm that operates out of the castle that sits on West 11th Street above the gallery). Castle Hill Partners has no plans for the property for at least 2 years, but rest assured at some point the property will be developed.
The HOPE (Helping Other People Everywhere campaign) made a proposal in 2011 to the Castle Hill Partners to allow artists to work on the abandoned construction site.
The HOPE Outdoor Gallery opened in 2011 during South by Southwest with an inaugural mural by the artist Shepard Fairey..famous for his iconic Andre the Giant Has a Posse and the 2008 Barack Obama “Hope” image. The gallery has taken on a life of its own and Fairey’s mural has now been covered over by more recent artists work.
The HOPE Outdoor Gallery is located on Baylor Street just off of North Lamar. The view of the Austin skyline is awesome at the top of the Hope Outdoor Gallery!
The three-story-tall abandoned construction site has many flat concrete surfaces for the street arts to create their work. It’s amazing to find every inch is filled with a constantly changing array of tags, murals, messages and wheat paste pieces (basically posters printed in advance and affixed to a wall with a homemade glue of flour and wheat).
Artists have been very ingenious…even a young high school student commissioned an artist to create a “Promposal” on the wall to ask his date to the prom!
Many artists do create large elaborate pieces at the Hope Gallery which may survive many weeks or months before someone else comes along. You never know what artwork you will see…the landscape is always evolving!
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