HOPE Outdoor Gallery – Austin, Texas - Atlas Obscura
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Austin, Texas

HOPE Outdoor Gallery

This failed condo development reborn as an emerging street art hub. 

Sorry, HOPE Outdoor Gallery is permanently closed.

Tucked away in downtown Austin, Texas, this abandoned construction project was once destined to become a condominium. However the bare walls and foundation that make up most of the park have since be remade into a home for a far more imaginative project. 

Known locally as “The Foundation” it is a street art wonderland where graffiti artists from all over the city can come and lay down pieces on the copious slabs of blank cement.

After world-famous street artist Shepard Fairey posted a number of large pieces on one of the biggest exposed walls, artists and vandals from all over the city began covering every inch of exposed concrete in graffiti. As the site became overgrown with weeds and trash, stalled in mid-development, the walls grew with art until there wasn’t an inch of cement left to see.

The owner of the land, while fine with the work of such a notable artist as Fairey has repeatedly said that the space is not simply an open graffiti park, and has pressed charges on trespassers in the past. However, despite the outward warning to intruders he seems to have done nothing to take the art from the walls and the artistic pieces continue to grow.

A group known as the HOPE Campaign took efforts to rechristen the land as the Outdoor Gallery Project, in an effort to protect the ephemeral and evolving art on display at the site. The group is focusing on making the space safer and more well organized so that more and more artists can make use of the space.

Despite this it seems as though the land may be being turned back into condos sooner rather than later, so it is worth checking out this outdoor gallery while you still can.

While you’re at it, notice the Texas Military Institute castle at the top of the hill.  If the condos do get built, the beautiful view of that castle will be blocked.

Update February 2018: If you’re interested, then see it soon. As of January 2018, the Austin City Council has approved the site’s demolition and relocation. 

Update May 2018: The gallery is sadly no longer there and the site is under construction.