International and Local Artists Partner to Bring Mural to Austin Community
Waterloo Park will soon feature stunning artwork by internationally-renowned Venezuelan artist Arturo Herrera in a larger than life art mural that was inspired by its natural habitat along Waller Creek. The mural has been commissioned by Waterloo Greenway Conservancy in partnership with the City of Austin’s Watershed Protection and Parks & Recreation Departments. A team of talented local artists have begun installing the 6,587 sq. ft. artwork, including Jason Archer and Josh Row of Show Goat Mural Works, along with brother and sister duo Joe Swec and Jana Swec – whose work can be found at local favorites including Hillside Farmacy, Easy Tiger and Loro.
“As we continue our important mission to beautify and restore Waller Creek, showcasing artwork that is expressive of cultures all over the world will always be a top priority for Waterloo Greenway. We are thrilled to bring Arturo’s incredible design to life for all to soon enjoy at Waterloo Park,” said Jeanne Klein, Waterloo Greenway Board Member and Art Committee Chair. “By working with local designers on the mural’s installation, we’re able to bring international art to the heart of downtown Austin. The Tunnel Inlet mural is just the beginning of the amazing work we plan to showcase for the community.”
The mix of international design with local installation and production is a perfect illustration of how Waterloo Park supports Austin talent, as well as its initiatives to feature talent from all over the world. Using animated, abstract biomorphic shapes and lines within a blue and white color scheme, Herrera’s mural echoes the movement of the complex flow of water inside the Waller Creek Tunnel, as well as the vitality and essence of Waterloo Park in an urban environment.
Named Wall painting for Austin, the mural will be located on the Waller Creek Tunnel Inlet Facility at Waterloo Park – highly visible to passersby, both in car and on foot. Using acrylic paint on exposed concrete substrate finished with eco-friendly coating, the installation for this dynamic and expansive mural is expected to be complete within three months.
“This will be one of the largest murals our team has tackled in Austin, and we’re incredibly excited to take on the project with our friends at Show Goat in the coming weeks,” said Jana Swec. “We are thrilled to play a small part in the great work Waterloo Greenway is doing to beautify this space and restore such an incredible asset to our City. I know personally I’ll be spending a lot of time at Waterloo Park when it opens this August, and I’m excited to see this piece come to life.”
Funded by the Betty and Edward Marcus Foundation, Wall painting for Austin was created specifically for Waterloo Greenway for long-term public viewing at Waterloo Park. The mural thoughtfully reflects the spirit of Waller Creek, as well as the functional elements of the Tunnel Inlet Facility through water management, oxygenation and debris collection.
“We are excited about this design and think it thoughtfully captures Waller Creek and its surrounding environment. It is a great example of how necessary city infrastructure can be transformed into something beautiful for the benefit of the community,” said Jorge Morales, Director of the Watershed Protection Department. “It’s been a pleasure to partner with the Conservancy on this project, and we look forward to seeing Austinites enjoy Arturo’s work at Waterloo Park.”
Now in its final months of construction, Waterloo Park will soon become a natural haven for Austin residents and visitors to experience world-class art, enjoy the outdoors, gather with friends and build community in this greenspace oasis.
Slideshow photo credit: Waterloo Greenway Conservancy
ABOUT THE ARTISTS
Arturo Herrera was born in Caracas, Venezuela in 1959, he currently lives and works in Berlin. Over the last 20 years, Arturo Herrera has developed an internationally celebrated, multi-layered body of work—from collages, felt sculpture, public commissions, and wall paintings. His work often references the conflicted legacy of abstraction. Herrera employs shapes and imagery from popular culture, prompting a multiplicity of references and reading for the viewer.
Herrera has been the recipient of many awards including a Deutscher Akademischer Austausch Dienst (DAAD) Fellowship and The Guggenheim Foundation Fellowship. Selected public collections include: San Francisco Museum of Modern Art, San Francisco CA; Boston Museum of Art, Boston MA; Miami Art Museum, Miami FL; Museum of Contemporary Art Chicago, Chicago IL; Museum of Modern Art, New York NY; Whitney Museum of American Art, New York NY; Tate Modern, London UK; Staatliche Museen zu Berlin – Kupferstichkabinett, Berlin, Germany; Metropolitan Museum of Art, New York NY; Museum of Contemporary Art, Los Angeles CA; Dallas Art Museum, Dallas TX, among others.
Jason Archer is an American visual artist, and pioneer of contemporary arts in Austin, Texas. His solo work fuses Pop Art and cultural archetypes that create modern myths. Since 2011, he has operated Show Goat Mural Works, a full-service mural design and production company, with artist Josh Row. Show Goat’s ethos is to create and paint public artworks that transform indoor or outdoor spaces, enrich the community with cultural landmarks, and grow businesses by enhancing storefronts with hand-painted signage and artwork. Jason is also the curator of Preacher Gallery, a contemporary art gallery in Austin, TX.
Josh Row is an American illustrator, designer, and muralist. Josh earned a BFA in design and is the Lead Designer of No Comply Skate Shop. He is a partner and the primary designer of Show Goat Mural Works, a full-service mural design and production company based in Austin, TX.
Jana Swec received a BFA from the School of Visual Arts in 2001 with a focus in Studio Arts. After moving to Austin in 2001, she co-founded the artist-run organization, Bolm Studios, now known as the non-profit Big Medium, which provides programs such as the East Austin Studio Tour & West Austin Studio Tour, now known as the Austin Studio Tour and the Texas Biennial. In 2002 she became a member of a three-person collaborative group, Sodalitas (with Shea Little and Joseph Phillips).
In 2007, Jana turned her focus toward her own body of work depicting anthropomorphic creatures and dreamscapes creating a unique and beautiful balance between powerful formal abstraction elements and organic growth. These scenes and characters tell narratives about life, movement, time, relationships & death.
In 2014 she stepped away from Big Medium to work full time on her own artwork and making custom murals in the offices of clients such as Facebook, Whole Foods and Google.
Joe Swec is an artist and sign painter living and working in Austin, TX.
Slideshow photo credit: Ismael Quintanilla III
ABOUT WATERLOO GREENWAY
Waterloo Greenway Conservancy is a non-profit organization whose mission is to create and maintain an extraordinary urban park system and a restored Waller Creek, in partnership with the City of Austin, for the benefit of all. The Conservancy renews the natural environment, promotes play, health and wellness, economic vitality and mobility, and engages the community through outreach, education, cultural events, and the arts.