Sep 14, 2023 - News

Six new murals added to South Congress

A decorated utility box from muralist Zuzu Perkal, who said her design pays homage to the "Keep Austin Weird" motto. Photo: Courtesy of South Congress Public Improvement District

Six city-owned utility boxes have been transformed into vibrant murals along South Congress, an effort by the SoCo Public Improvement District to preserve the history of the area.

Details: The group partnered with local muralist Zuzu Perkal to enlist a group of local female-identifying or nonbinary artists to decorate city-owned utility boxes along the street.

  • Muralist Niz created four different paintings on each side of the box, including a Mexican guerrera paying homage to the Wild West nature of South Congress before it was a shopping district. Another side depicts Eric Burton, the lead singer of the Black Pumas, who got his start in Austin with residencies at C-Boy's and Continental Club.
  • Another box from artist Sade honors Joan Means Khabele, one of the first African Americans who participated in swim-ins at Barton Springs Pool while it was still segregated.

What they're saying: "My artwork is designed to creatively catch the eye of pedestrians on South Congress with its bright colors and dynamic movement," Perkal said. "Our city motto, 'Keep Austin Weird,' is seen and felt throughout the South Congress district. My design pays homage to this beloved mantra."

The bottom line: Head to South Congress to see the permanent installations, which are on display now.

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