AUSTIN (KXAN) — People gathered in a historic east Austin neighborhood on Sunday to celebrate the completion of a large mural project with a ribbon cutting and block party.
The mural project, which highlights the Govalle area’s history and future, is 900 feet long and covers two retaining walls along Bolm Road. It’s the largest art project funded by Austin Public Works Neighborhood Partnering Program to date, Austin Public Works said.
Eight artists, chosen by arts organization Raasin in the Sun, created the murals: Amado Castillo, Brittany Johnson, Candy Kuo, Catie Lewis, Chroma Collective, Jaime Prado, Ruben Esquivel and Samara Barks.
Part of the mural honors Johnny Limón, a civic and community leader in east Austin who died in 2020.
The murals are part of a larger plan called the Bolm Road Beautification Project. Project organizers, including the Govalle Neighborhood Association, made fence repairs and put in landscaping, according to a release from Austin Public Works.
“We wanted to beautify and honor an area that had been so long overlooked and underserved,” Lauren Rochell, a Govalle resident who helped initiate the project, said in the release. “The project evolved from repairing fences and planting native plants to the beautiful murals that exist today. They highlight the stories of those who have worked to preserve, restore, and improve our community.”
According to the Govalle Elementary website, the neighborhood got its name from Texas’ first Swedish immigrant, Swen Magnus, who came to the Austin area in the 1850s. He made a home and ranch in east Austin and named it “GaValla,” a Swedish word that means “good grazing land.”
He and his family are credited with bringing many Swedish immigrants to the state.
Google Maps shows the neighborhood is bound by Airport Boulevard on the east and Pleasant Valley and Webberville Roads on the west. Bolm Road. where the mural is located, is near Boggy Creek.