I have been curious recently in regards to photographing graffiti in Austin. In my search I came across this amazing mural! It is called “Rhapsody” created by John Yancey located in the Dr. Charles E. Urdy Plaza located on E. 11th and Waller Streets…a small area located in East Austin. I found lots a great spots around there thanks to a heads up from my good friend Jim Nix.
Some info on the web about “Rhapsody”: Seventy years ago, East 11th Street was Austin’s mecca for jazz. Amateur groups played at local parks on weekend afternoons, and legends Duke Ellington, Count Basie and Ornette Coleman played at eastside venues like Charlie’s Playhouse and the Cotton Club. Those great jazz joints may be a thing of the past, but the brass is alive again on the east side. It bursts forth in “Rhapsody,” a vivid and intricate mosaic mural. “Before there was a Sixth Street, there was an Eleventh Street,” says Yancey. “When that area went down, we lost a lot of that jazz and blues kind of energy. But that’s certainly one of the parts of history that people remember most fondly. When people talk about it, their eyes light up.” The mural was actually fabricated in Yancey’s studio using an indirect mural process. The design was drawn up to scale, laid out on a 25-foot-by-10-foot platform, and then each tile was cut to fit the shape in the design. Yancey then used clear contact paper to hold the mural together, cut it into 330 sections and stored it until it was ready to be installed. He worked on the installation with master artisan Luis G. Alicea and artist Steven B. Jones.
I’ll give Mr. Yancey kudos…that is one coooool Mural! Here is a close up. Stop by and see it if you are ever in town! Stunning!