AUSTIN (KXAN) — Austin’s iconic graffiti park know as HOPE Outdoor Gallery is relocating and expanding with the creation of a new six-acre project launching at Carson Creek Ranch.
Since the gallery was created seven years ago, its location on Baylor Street in downtown Austin has become a popular tourist destination bringing picture-takers and artists.
Members with HOPE say the new location, located at 9507 Sherman Rd. — not far from the US 183 and SH 71 interchange — will allow for growing crowds by including more wall space, a parking lot and art classes for children and adults.
“It’s been an incredible journey finding the perfect permanent home for this project. We had no idea that a temporary art experiment would become so well loved, so internationally recognized, and so needed in our culture and city. This new, evolved art park will be a special place for the community to call their own,” said Andi Scull Cheatham, founder and executive producer of HOPE Events in a recent press release.
The current location has averaged nearly 500 visitors per day since 2013 and has hosted more than 300 artists, which does not include the number of undocumented art pieces that layer the grounds.
But many visitors say they are sad to see the location move so far outside the city. “Everything is here, I mean everyone else is downtown so moving it, especially 30 minutes outside the city, it’s a long way,” said Austin resident Zeeke Griffin.
Griffin leads a church youth group and is a local coach who visits the gallery often. “I bring my students out here quite a bit a least once a month to either clean up or have a little fun,” he said.
He’s not too thrilled about the new commute to the park and was hoping it wouldn’t be built.
“it’s a little frustrating to know they are moving and trying to make it more structured. As long as they have this type of environment, I think it will be OK, but I guess we will have to wait and see,” Griffin said.
Meanwhile, neighbors who live near the current location say the announcement is just what they have been waiting for.
“I won’t say that I’ll miss it that much,” said neighbor Sarah Pope. “To get out of my driveway, sometimes it takes 10-15 minutes. Sometimes when it’s gridlocked, I’ll be one car away from my driveway and I just can’t get in.”
For nearly two years she’s dealt with vandalism and headaches. “My cactus are completely covered, my mailbox gets painted pretty often. The cement in front of my house, even my driveway sometimes,” Pope said.
The project will stay in its current location until June 2018. The owner of the land, Mid-City Development, is a local real estate development firm specializing in urban, multi-family projects. The firm is working to figure out the best outcome for the space.
The Carson Creek location will begin construction in early 2018, with a projected opening of end of 2018.