This past weekend we were in the Austin, Texas area for one of the husband's volleyball tournaments. When we're in a city for a tournament, there's not a whole lot of time to explore, unless we plan out a day or two before or after volleyball. On game-days, we are always too drained to do anything but have dinner and sleep. Luckily, we had free time the day after this tournament ended to have a couple of hours in Austin.

The Hope Outdoor Gallery was one of our first stops. We had seen pictures of this graffiti park on Facebook before, but we both had never been to see it for ourselves. It's really quite a site!  

"The HOPE Outdoor Gallery is a 3-story educational art project located at 11th & Baylor Streets in Austin – one of the largest outdoor galleries in the US. This project was developed to provide muralists, graffiti artists & community groups the opportunity to display large scale art pieces driven by inspirational, positive & educational messaging. In addition, the project activates & beautifies a dynamic yet underutilized space...The project was officially launched by the HOPE Campaign in March 2011 with the support of Shepard Fairey and Obey Giant Art." [via HOPE]

The beautiful chaos of the art-covered walls is juxtaposed at the top by this very orderly pristine castle. It's bizarre, but at the same time cool to see both of those different scenes in the same spot. 

The art is not just contained to the giant cement walls of the Hope Gallery. No matter where you look, from the trash cans to the living flowers and leaves, a mist of spray paint has definitely made its way across it. 

Once you climb to the top of the hill (and it is quite a climb), there before you is the most amazing view of Austin's cityscape. I'm sure there are plenty of great views of Austin, but this has to be at the very top of the list. 

It was a really hot day here in Texas, so the sweat was rolling, but I'm so glad we stopped by. The colorful vibe of the place was definitely a welcome environment. In one corner there's new art being sprayed by a group, in others photographers were snapping pictures of clients, and a shirtless man was rapping his heart out from this "stage." My kind of place!

Keep the weirdness, Austin. I love it.