Looking Up Mural Fest Returns for Second Year
Organizers invite the public to watch as muralists bring new life to buildings and neighborhoods in Austin
By Meher Qazilbash
Photos by Fabian Rey
Looking Up Mural Fest, a 10-day gathering of artists and art lovers to beautify the streets of Austin, is back.
Following a successful inaugural year in 2021, the much-awaited festival will be held from Nov. 11 to 20, 2022.
Created by artists Fabian Rey and Luis Angelo, and in partnership with art collective Something Cool Studios, Looking Up Mural Fest brings together both Austin-based and international muralists to enhance the city’s building exteriors and neighborhoods. This project is also a communal experience, with the public invited to witness the creative process that will include scissor lifts, ladders and hundreds of gallons of paint as 11 participating artists work for the duration of the festival.
“The festival creates a special opportunity for people to see the artists behind the artistry, the heart behind the art and broaden the idea of what murals could bring to a growing community,” says Candy Kuo, a muralist from last year’s event. “Looking Up gave us all a taste of the art hub that our city is blossoming into and we can’t wait to see more.”
This year’s lineup of creators includes Federico Archuleta, FISH, Lauren YS, Toni Ardizzone, Helena Martin, Levi Ponce, Carmen Rangel and J Muzacz.
“We want Austin to be known not only for its great music but also for its fantastic art,” says co-founder Fabian Rey. “It’s also important to us that female artists are well represented so we added a great group of talented women to the festival roster.”
The event will also celebrate the release of ATX URBAN ART, a full-color book documenting the past and present of independent art in Austin. With 128 artists and 700 pages of photos and accompanying text, ATX URBAN ART is the definitive guide to murals, graffiti and street art in the Texas capital.
“The mission of the festival is to inspire and uplift the spirit of the city one mural at a time,” says Rey. “This mural fest is an invitation to look up and start changing the way we see things. We want to increase walkability of neighborhoods, create more paid opportunities for muralists and enrich the cultural fabric of our city.”