breaking news

Former President George H.W. Bush taken to Maine hospital

Cultural district takes over plans for mural at 12th and Chicon


Highlights

Thurgood Marshall quote will be painted on mural at 12th and Chicon streets. A new design will come later.

Austin’s black cultural district will take over conservatorship of wall where community mural was removed.

Six Square, Austin’s black cultural district, announced Monday that it has gained conservatorship of a wall that once featured a mural depicting African American music legends such as James Brown, Prince and Tupac Shakur.

The district reached an agreement with the building owner and business owner leasing the property at 12th and Chicon streets, where the mural was painted over last month, causing outrage in East Austin.

The nonprofit cultural district, which has been collecting community input at meetings, will be responsible for what will go on the wall next.

For now, a quote from the late Supreme Court Justice Thurgood Marshall is expected to be painted on the wall before the Juneteenth parade this weekend: “At a time in our history when the streets of the nation’s cities inspire fear and despair, rather than pride and hope, it is difficult to maintain objectivity and concern for our fellow citizens. … In recognizing the humanity of our fellow beings we pay ourselves the highest tribute.”

PHOTOS: Mural painted over on East 12th and Chicon

“People were incensed because it’s another example of cultural erasure that has taken place in Central East Austin,” said Nefertitti Jackmon, Six Square’s executive director. “If you don’t care about having the presence of African-American culture and appreciating that, then I think we have some problems. One of our goals is to put something up in the meantime to inspire hope in the community.”

The district is still gathering community feedback and will work with the original artist, Chris Rogers, on what the finished mural will look like. Although Rogers thinks the new mural will have the same spirit as the previous one, he’s waiting for all the community input before creating a design and does not have a timeline for when the project will be completed.

“When it was initially painted over, I was upset, to say the least,” he said. But now, Rogers said, it’s a great opportunity to galvanize the community.

Members of the East 12th Street Merchants Association have said the 3-year-old mural was falling apart and needed to be repaired. Veronica Ortuño, owner of the new clothing store and art gallery Las Cruxes, who had the mural removed, later agreed to commission the original artist to paint another mural on the wall. Ortuño did not respond to a request for comment Monday.

In a statement last month, Ortuño said: “Las Cruxes is an independently owned and operated small business with long-standing ties to the East Austin community. As a 14-year resident, I consider Austin my home. We are taking into consideration and listening to all concerned parties. As persons of color ourselves, we do not take this issue lightly.”

After the mural was painted over in mid-May, graffiti was later sprayed on the all-white wall, including “(Expletive) gentrification” and “Black Culture Matters.”

East Austin resident Talvin Christion, 42, said there’s now a lot of pressure on the artist and district to make it right. “The people here take it to heart,” he said.



Reader Comments ...


Next Up in Local

George H.W. Bush taken to Maine hospital
George H.W. Bush taken to Maine hospital

Former President George H.W. Bush has been hospitalized after “experiencing low blood pressure and fatigue,” spokesman Jim McGrath said in a Twitter post Sunday afternoon. Bush, who was last hospitalized in April because of a blood infection, was taken to Southern Maine Health Care in Biddeford, Maine. “He will likely remain there...
Round Rock police searching for suspect in attempted assault
Round Rock police searching for suspect in attempted assault

12:45 p.m. update: Round Rock police released a description of a suspect in an early Sunday attempted assault. “The suspect is described a Hispanic male in his mid-20s to early 30s, approximately 5’7” to 5’10”, with short black hair and soul patch facial hair,” a Round Rock city spokesman said in an email. &ldquo...
OVERNIGHT: Man hospitalized after North Austin stabbing, EMS says
OVERNIGHT: Man hospitalized after North Austin stabbing, EMS says

A man in his 30s was injured early Sunday after a stabbing in North Austin, officials said. Austin-Travis County EMS and Austin police responded to reports of stabbing at Rutland Drive and N. Lamar Blvd. shortly after midnight. Medics took the victim to Dell Seton Medical Center with serious, not expected to be life-threatening injuries. No other patients...
FORECAST: Temps to hit 99 Sunday; 104 heat index expected
FORECAST: Temps to hit 99 Sunday; 104 heat index expected

Sunday forecast for Austin: It’s going to be hot. Temperatures will reach a high of 99 Sunday, with a heat index of 104 also expected. East southeast winds moving 5 mph are also in the forecast. Skies will be mostly clear Sunday night, with a low of 75 and east southeast winds moving 5 mph. The heat index for each afternoon this week will top...
Austin Muslim community, leaders break fast at citywide iftar
Austin Muslim community, leaders break fast at citywide iftar

Community leaders and members of Austin’s Muslim community gathered Saturday evening to “break the fast” at the third annual Austin City Wide Iftar. The event, hosted by the Austin Muslim Civic Ambassadors at the Asian American Resource Center, aims to “bridge the gap between local elected officials and Austin’s Muslim...
More Stories