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Philly Travels: Austin’s ‘Graffiti Park’ with John Paul Titlow

February 5, 2014


(Photos by John Paul Titlow)

According to their Facebook page, the HOPE Outdoor Gallery (aka HOG) is “a three-story art project located at 11th & Baylor St. Austin, TX. This ‘Local to Global’ installation is organized by the HOPE (Helping Other People Everywhere) Campaign with support from the property owners, Dick Clark Architecture and Castle Hill Partners.

Known historically as ‘the Foundation,’ the space existed for years as a canvas for established and aspiring writers. The art project was officially launched by HOPE in March 2011 with the support of artist Shepard Fairey and Obey Giant Art. It is one of the largest outdoor galleries in Texas and was developed to provide muralists, graffiti artists and community groups the opportunity to display large scale art pieces driven by inspirational, positive & educational messaging.”

Not unlike the store front at 4th and Reno in Philly’s Northern Liberties, this property in Austin is privately owned and artists must seek permission to participate in its ‘outdoor gallery.’  Which begs the question: how can we inspire more of this here in Philly?!

Last week, a photo of a SEPTA rail train car with an an end to end burner raised the same question in my head. Whether publicly or privately owned, or a mix of the two, I’d love to see Philly outfitted with spaces like Austin’s HOG all around the city. Living outdoor art galleries that would stand as a testament to this city’s strong connection to the creative world. Both historically, and in our modern renaissance.

Off the top of my head, I can think of Midtown Village’s Fergie’s and Fishtown’s Kung Fu Necktie and Rockcat Cafe who have commissioned artists to put work on their buildings’ facades. And that’s a great start, but it’d be great to see parks or open/unused spaces the size of Austin’s HOG filled with art. Anyone have any thoughts?

Special thanks to John Paul Titlow for emailing me the photos above from his recent trip to Texas!

4 Comments leave one →
  1. Melissa permalink
    February 5, 2014 3:32 pm

    What about the walls at 5th and Cecil B?

  2. February 5, 2014 7:10 pm

    Agreed. BiLlion doLlar buildings are going uP. Communities of aLl sorts need inclusive spaces that are there for more dynamic reasons than just prime real estate development. Summer Winter Community Garden in West PhiLly has a wood-chip paved diagonal path through it. Walking that path is a visceral experience of how the concerted communal efforts of a smaLl group of weLl-intentioned people can graduaLly cultivate a true safe haven through time. I would add that these artistic havens need to be biodiverse and inclusive to numerous non-human species as weLl. Urban poLlinators, after aLl, come in human and non-human form. @aMMPh

  3. February 7, 2014 4:48 am

    Great pictures that express the spirit of this graffiti park, especially the one with blured silhouettes. I like the contrast between dark and bright colors.


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