What is the Greetings From Austin Mural?
Take a turn off 1st St onto W Annie St on a sunny day and your bound to see a line of people outside a understated neon art gallery, Roadside Relics. When did neon come back into fashion? You might wonder (even though let's face it who doesn't love a bit of neon!), but it's not the gallery they're queuing for. At least not what's inside. On its exterior wall, waiting to be snapped by your line of amateur photographers and budding influencers, is a charming and nostalgic mural.
'Greetings From AUSTIN Capitol of TEXAS', it says in letters of varied fonts and sizes.
Painted in 1998 in the style of an old large-lettered postcard, the Greetings From Austin mural has become a city icon and a testament to a forgotten bit of Americana.
The postcards in question were popular in the 1930s-50s and used to feature illustrated arrays of city sights inside large 3D letters: CHICAGO, NEW YORK, AUSTIN.
And so does the mural. From A to N, you've got Congress Avenue Bridge, Barton Springs, Old Main, Congress St and the Texas flag, all above a painting of the State Capitol. A great snapshot of the city.
The Artists Behind the Greetings From Austin Mural
The mural was created by Texas-born artist Todd Sanders, along with fellow artists Rory Skagen and Bill Brakkage. And not only did Sanders make the mural, he also owns Roadside Relics.
He got his break as a neon artist at a small Austin store before opening his own gallery in 1995, and finally setting up Relics in 1997.
His work is inspired by the likes of Andy Warhol, Robert Rauschenberg and Dan Flavin and is famous worldwide. It can be seen in the films of Terrence Malick and Robert Rodriguez, on the cover the 2013 Kings of Leon album 'Mechanical Bull', in issues of Esquire and Fortune magazines, and amongst the private collections of Johnny Depp, Willie Nelson and Norah Jones.
Visting the Greetings From Austin Mural
When you stop off to see the mural its well worth taking a look inside the gallery. And, for those who want to see even more of Sander's work, if you happen to be anywhere near Bentonville, Arkansas, you'll find the world's largest collection there on public display.
Interested in finding more places like this? Try one of our CityDays Exploration Games - untangle cryptic clues as a team, as you are taken on a journey to the most unique, unusual and bizarre corners of Austin and beyond.