Portraits of a changing economy

Preserving memories and stories that are fleeting in times of economic change in one of the fastest-growing cities in America: Austin, Texas.

Coffee, bikes, and a wall.

One of the most emblematic street art pieces of the Mexican and latino community on the east side of Austin is "La Lotería" mural. It is located on 1619 E Cesar Chavez and was originally painted in 1989. Later, in 2015 it was painted over for SXSW festival and it was finally restored by the community and unveiled in August 2015 with a big event. Among the new additions to the latest version is a portrait of Tex-Mex singer Selena, and a representation of the bulldozer that turned down the piñata shop Jumpolin, as a reaction against gentrification.When I visited the mural in 2015 it was the east wall of a bicycle shop called Cycleast. Bicycle businesses have flourished in the last years in Austin with the increased use of bikes, and Cycleast has been on this location for almost six years. During my visit to Cycleast I had the chance to talk to the owner, Russell Pickavance, who told me a little bit about the event to reveal the new mural. I also talked to one of the main workers there, Jacob Uribe, who showed me the interior of the place and his motorcycle.




I visited "La Lotería" again in April 2016 and it was a surprise to find that Flat Track coffee is now sharing the space with Cycleast, and now the mural is part of the coffee shop. I talked to Cassie, the barista, who has been a resident of the east side for years. She saisd that the change in the area is evident mainly by the appearance of new restaurants and businesses, but there is a shortage of places that provide services to the community.