Close Encounters of the Austin Kind

First Encounter: Greetings from Austin, 2004 by Jann Alexander

First Encounter: Greetings from Austin, 2004 by Jann Alexander


It was still spring in Austin, in May 2004, when a scuttled trip to the Grand Canyon led me to The Live Music Capital of the World instead. While there was plenty of live music to go around, from First Thursday on South Congress to nearly every burger joint with a deep fryer, the most arresting thing about Austin was its visual identity.

There was architectural eye candy everywhere you looked. And to greet you, dear visitors, in case you didn’t yet feel welcomed enough by the warm Texas hospitality, was a painted mural on the side of neon artist Todd Sanders’ Roadhouse Relics studio, harkening back to the days of road trips and vintage picture post cards, where many a tourist photo has been made before and since.

The retro mural that once welcomed me to Austin has faded over time, but has never stopped being a favorite of tourists, locals and photographers. It’s fitting that the mural’s original artists, Todd Sanders and Rory Skagen, have begun restoring the mural, with help from Creative Action’s Color Squad.

Austin’s unique visual charms, thanks in no small part to creative sign artists like Sanders and Skagen, made it imperative for me to get here as quick as I could. And upon arriving for good just a few months later, to spend the next nine years documenting a Vanishing Austin, as I rejoiced in the occasional win—like this iconic Austin mural. ♣


BUY THIS PRINT: Choose from 99+ Vanishing Austin prints and a poster by Jann Alexander, starting at $25.

Endangered Species of Austin, poster by Jann Alexander © 2009

Endangered Species of Austin poster

Shop my Vanishing Austin series: While many Austin landmarks are lost, many are survivors still. Admire them all in a slideshow, HERE. Prints start at $35.

You can marvel at what’s lost and what’s survived in my Endangered Species of Austin poster, featuring 16 Austin icons, and sized at a handsomely large 24 x 36,” available for $25, HERE.


Click Here to get your free monthly digest of Popular Pairings.

1 reply

I'd love to hear what you think

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s