May 23 2019
The art of voter registration culminates with the Travis County Tax Office announcing Roxanne Flournoy of Del Valle High School as the first-place winner in the 2019 Student Mural Contest.
Her submission, “Speak Your Piece,” shows the side profile of a young woman’s head bursting with thoughts that explode in color as they stream out of her mouth. Second place went to Evan Stein of Bowie High School and third place to Grace Torres of Hyde Park High School. Three other entries received honorable mentions.
Professional artists will paint two of the drawings into murals, one on an outside wall by the Alamo Drafthouse Cinema in Northeast Austin’s Mueller development and the other at the Tax Office’s Voter Registration Outreach Office in East Austin. A third drawing displayed on a large canvas will become a mobile mural that travels to community events.
In all, more than 100 Travis County high school students entered the voter registration mural contest and a team of artists and media professionals judged their submissions.
“We saw some incredibly creative and detailed entries by very talented students,” said Bruce Elfant, Travis County voter registrar and tax assessor-collector. “We hope this inspires the students to become involved in voter registration and voting and that their murals will inspire all who see them to register and vote.”
Building art is popular in Austin, with many becoming iconic city landmarks, such as the frog with “Hi. How are you” on the side of a building by the University of Texas drag or the simple “i love you so much” on South Congress. Tour Austin, which offers mural tours, reports the city is home to more than 80 unique street murals.
“We hope our murals become a fond part of the city’s mural landscape,” Elfant said. “Nothing would thrill us more than to have folks taking pictures in front of art that promotes participation in our democracy.”
The murals, Elfant added are a reminder to everyone who is eligible to register and vote. “Always remember it’s not simply a privilege, but an obligation - your patriotic duty - to register, be counted, vote,” he said.
The 2019 Student Mural Contest was a joint effort by the tax office and the Austin area’s League of Women Voters.
View all the winning entries and honorable mentions.
View news release (PDF).