AUSTIN (KXAN) — It’s 4 a.m. the morning before Austin FC’s home opener, and Chris Rogers is painting well before the sun is up.
The Q2 stadium is getting ready for fans ahead of tomorrow’s home opener and that’s also when Rogers will debut his latest piece, ‘Whispers of the Heart’. The mural is located right outside the stadium next to the Zebra Gate.
“I like painting in front of places like this, where there’s a lot of people that walk by it because it stirs conversations and you’re able to learn from people,” said Rogers.
Austin is known for its many murals, and the latest puts the city front and center at Q2 Stadium. The mural shows Gary Clark Jr. playing his guitar in a field of bluebonnets near a longhorn sitting under an oak tree. The centerpiece is a young girl listening to the humming of three hummingbirds.
Rogers worked through the night to beat the heat and has been putting the finishing touches on the mural this week.
Fans that attended the U.S. Women’s soccer game on Wednesday were able to get a sneak peek at the mural. Many stopped by to look and take photos.
“Not much makes me happier than my art being experienced by other people and accepted by other people,” Rogers said. He has worked on the mural for about a month.
Austin FC’s senior vice-president of marketing James Ruth said Rogers represents the culture of Austin, as well as the club.
“I think the way that Chris talks about the city, and the way that he talks about what Austin FC can mean for the city is exactly how we want to be as a club, a unifying force in a city that is known for its diversity, its confidence, its creativity,” said Ruth.
Rogers is a well-known artist in the Austin community. Last June, he was the man behind the George Floyd mural in east Austin.
“People would come up to me, especially on the east side, where there was a lot of Black people and they would thank me, sometimes with tears in their eyes, for not only doing the art but painting faces that looked like theirs,” Rogers said.
The mural wall is part of the new Austin FC Artist Initiative program. In an effort to highlight local artists, Austin FC is working with over a dozen artists to rotate and paint the wall. Each home game, posters matching the current mural will be given out to fans.
Rogers said he is excited for his work to become part of the Austin FC legend.
“Passion is contagious — no man is an island,” Rogers said. “And, so, if we’re going to be so bold, that we’re going to build a legend, we need to build it together.”