Austin’s tallest public artwork is ready for its close-up

The 10-story tall mural, named "Tau Ceti," adorns the northwest corner of the city's Brazos Street parking garage.

Josef Krisfoletti's "Tau Ceti" mural at Brazos and Second streets. Photo: Philip Rogers

Stretching some 103 feet up the side of a downtown building, a mural by Josef Kristofoletti now claims the title of Austin’s tallest public artwork.

A gradient color spectrum reaching 10 floors up the northwest corner of a city parking garage, “Tau Ceti” was completed in November. The optically vibrant mural covers 3,811 square-feet of wall space within indented corner of the building at Brazos and Second streets.

The mural’s title, “Tau Ceti”, takes inspiration from a star in the constellation Cetus that is spectrally similar to our own sun.

“[I used] a color spectrum because, conceptually, it references unity and diversity,” said Kristofoletti. “All the colors come from one source and, together, create a complete spectrum of hues. I think this a relevant symbol for downtown Austin.”
The city produced a time-lapse of the mural’s creation. (See below.)

The project comes a result of Capital Improvement Project (CIP) to upgrade the parking structure with an additional east-facing entrance. The garage is now meant to serve the nearby Austin Convention Center, but originally had been built with only a west-facing entrance. The commission for the mural was $76,000.

On the west side of the building and visible from Congress Avenue, “Tau Ceti,” is already an attention-getter, already making the rounds of social media.

The offices of the city’s Art in Public Places Program occupy the building’s first floor giving staff a front row seat for all the live action. Said Curt Gettman, senior public art manager, said: “It’s great to see the day-to-day interaction the public has with (this artwork). People stop to take pictures or selfies with it all day long.”

And of course, there’s the encouraged hashtags for your Instagram moment:#austinmurals #ATXmurals #austinAIPP