Art helps to make Austin a vibrant city. Although Austin is known as the live music capital of the world, creativity takes other forms, as well, through personal expression, fashion, dance, theater and visual arts.
On Sunday, October 18, Gerardo Castillo, senior vice-president and chief of staff at Capital Metro, joined Karen LaShelle, executive and artistic director of Creative Action, to celebrate the unveiling of a painted mural in the Chestnut neighborhood of East Austin. The mural, titled “Map Your Roots/Routes,” honors the history of, and uniquely identifies, the neighborhood near MetroRail’s MLK Station.
“We are excited to see this neighborhood getting the revitalization and recognition it deserves,” remarked Castillo, who also thanked Creative Action for its leadership and Color Squad for producing the beautiful piece that can now be enjoyed by riders and the community for years to come.
Capital Metro’s involvement in the project began in the fall of 2014 when Creative Action approached the agency with the idea of creating a transportation-themed mural on the side of their new building, facing MetroRail’s Red Line. The project aligned well with Capital Metro’s public art program, which supports art created by community-based non-profits in newly housed transit-oriented developments (TODs).
At first, the art was only visible from the rail line, however Capital Metro worked with Creative Action and other community partners, including the City of Austin and the Sustainable Food Center (SFC), to create a safe viewing area from the SFC garden.
The mural, along with other art projects visible aboard MetroRail, can be found in the new “Art Seen” brochure.