The student-run newspaper of the Liberal Arts and Science Academy

The Liberator

The student-run newspaper of the Liberal Arts and Science Academy

The Liberator

The student-run newspaper of the Liberal Arts and Science Academy

The Liberator

Awesome Art in Austin

Amelia Coleman

When exploring almost any part of the city of Austin, many visitors and Austinites alike will often find street art splattered, painted, and drawn across many of the buildings surrounding them. Regardless of whether the art is graffiti or a mural dedicated to someone the artist lost, every piece of art contributes to Austin’s ever-growing street art scene. 

Street artist Niz finds street art to be a medium many use to express their personal experiences. She has been creating art in Austin for 14 years.

“Street art is a platform for diverse people to express themselves and voice what is important to them,” Niz said. “It is a crucial element for free speech and equal representation.”


As a Junior Lieutenant in the LASA Art Honor Society, Walpole focuses on how street art is often used as a form of sharing the love artists have for their community. The Bolm Mural Project, which highlights the Govalle neighborhood’s past, present and future is a perfect example of this.

“Street art, such as murals, brings the community [together] outside of the walls,” Walpole said. “When I am involved in painting a mural, I like to imagine painting the heart of the community on its public walls. [It’s] almost like putting your heart on your sleeve. It shows character, personality, caring, and love.”

Murals have played a role in community activism as well. Junior Lucy Murphy has observed artists incorporate community values into their street art.

“Especially in East Austin, I’ve seen that the murals are so rooted within the community and can connect to the members of the community in a really special way,” Murphy said. “I think that’s really, really cool, and I’ve even seen some near LASA  that are super in touch with the community. I think it’s really important for people to grow up and feel accepted by art pieces like these which have public figures, and a lot of other things that connect to people’s heritage.”


Niz’s creative process always takes into account the community she is serving. In recent years, she has become more versed in urban culture.

“I create each piece with the neighborhood and community in mind,” Niz said. “For East Austin, it’s important to acknowledge the generations of Black and brown people that have been there.”

Artists also have to plan out their technical process of creating street art. Each artist has their own way of doing things, as demonstrated by how Murphy and Niz prepare for the actual creation of their pieces.

“I’m really into photography too, and when I see something that I really like, I really want to draw it or paint it,” Murphy said. “So I’ll usually start with a reference picture and then go on from there. Sometimes I’ll just have like a burst of inspiration and it’ll inspire me to make something, whether it be a drawing or a painting.”

Murphy’s creation of street art starts with inspiration from her surroundings. Niz has a different and more hands-on approach. 

“My process involves a mix of water painting and hand-cut stencil art” Niz said, “I began painting on grip tape as a young skateboarder, and through my involvement in urban culture [I] graduated to painting walls.”

While street art is loved in Austin, artists still face pushback to the medium’s growth, according to Walpole. There are other issues that pop up during the technical process of street art creation as well.


“Street art is known for being political and bringing up social issues in communities” Walpole said. “When it comes to the more technical bits of painting murals and or street art, you could find some community pushback. Nowadays, it is more often for street art to be viewed as gross and not good for business.”

Despite this, Walpole, Niz, and Murphy feel street art is still highly valued by many people for what it does for both the general community. It also makes a lasting and significant impact on the artists themselves.

“I really enjoy starting my day or ending my day with art,” Murphy said. “I think if you can find something like that, if anybody could find some kind of creative outlet for themselves, it would help them to just de-stress and find a great way to express themselves.”

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