Wednesday, February 3, 2021

Austin Public Health Partners with Local Artist to Spread Message of Solidarity and Hygiene

For immediate release: February 2, 2021
Contact: Austin-Travis County Joint Information System, 512-974-0699,

Austin Public Health Partners with Local Artist to Spread Message of Solidarity and Hygiene

New mural in Northeast Austin unveiled
Austin, Texas -- A new mural at the St. John's Community Center, 7500 Blessing Ave., is the newest of countless efforts to share a message of hope and a reminder that personal behavior can make a difference.

This mural was commissioned by Austin Public Health (APH) with a design that depicts handwashing and includes this text:

Manos limpias, ¡Austin saludable!
Clean hands, healthy Austin!
¡La lucha es de todos!
It's everyone's fight!

The mural focuses on a message that is critical now, with the COVID-19 pandemic surging across the nation, and will also remain relevant for years to come. The longevity of a mural is typically 3-5 years. 

The muralist Claudia Berenice Garza began painting the mural on Dec. 26, 2020 and completed the work on Jan. 13, 2021. 

"Hand washing will ALWAYS be essential for good health and hygiene and I wanted to focus on that. In terms of the phrasing, the one that fit best, was that of this being everyone's fight," said Garza about her design proposal.

APH's mission is to prevent disease, promote health, and protect the well-being of everyone in Austin-Travis County. Art can bring public health messages directly to the people in a way that inspires behavioral change.

"We are excited to share this mural with the community and we hope that it brings a message of positivity and individuals actions having a ripple effect on the health of our community," said APH Director Stephanie Hayden-Howard. "We sought out a positive message with a reminder of community and togetherness, even when we cannot be together in person."

The mural is open to the public to take photos. Individuals wishing to take photos at the mural should adhere to gathering restrictions, social distance, wear their masks and, of course, wash their hands frequently. 

B-roll and stills can be found at this link. They can be used by members of the press with attribution to Austin Public Health. 

About the Artist

Claudia Berenice Garza was born and raised in Monterrey, Nuevo Leon, Mexico and has resided in the Rio Grande Valley since 1998; she also lived in Brooklyn, New York for 8 years before returning to Texas in 2020. Her studies include an Associate of Visual Arts from South Texas College (2003) as well as a Bachelor of Fine Arts in Drawing and Painting (2005) from the University of Texas - Pan American, now UT - Rio Grande Valley. As a painter, she has experience in portraiture, photo-realism, contemporary realism, surrealism, abstraction, Mexican folklore and mural work. Since her return to Texas, Claudia has become a sought after muralist for both public and private spaces. Her more recent murals reflect a new focus on community, tradition and education.

City of Austin Activates Cold Weather Shelters on Saturday, Feb. 17  

  Finding the status of shelters by calling 512-972-5055   AUSTIN, Texas -  The City of Austin is opening overnight cold weather shelters on...