Cultural erasure can be one of the many lamented effects of gentrification, and conversation around that fallout of takes place around physical manifestations of a neighborhood’s longtime nature: a local restaurant or other business’s fate, the disappearance of informal landmarks, and public art, which often literally illustrates a place’s cultural history. The latter of often takes the form of “street art”—public work in shared spaces, sometimes approved and funded in some way, sometimes not—and murals in particular.
East Austin knows a thing or two about seemingly careless obliteration of the latter. The painting over and eventual restoration of La Loteria mural at 1619 E. Cesar Chavez Street is a well-known example.
More recently, a mural by Houston artist Chris Rogers that depicted and honored primarily African American musicians, located at 12th and Chicon streets, was painted over by Las Cruxes, the retail tenant that moved into the building on that corner last year. After community outcry, the Las Cruxes and the building owner reached an agreement with Six Square, the nonprofit that oversees Austin’s black cultural district, that the latter would have conservatorship of the wall for the next three years.
According to a story in the Austin American-Statesman, Rogers began repainting the mural in December. The style and subject are similar to those of the original, but, the artist told the Statesman that after getting community feedback, he included more women, local, and Latinx musical icons.
Rogers’ mural was unveiled Saturday with a well-attended gathering and party hosted by Six Square and DOLE Dream Out Loud Experience.
• Beloved ‘La Lotería’ mural restored in East Austin [Austin American-Statesman]