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New Murals In Downtown Austin Aim To Empower Women

A mural of Wonder Woman painted by Sandra Chevrier and Shepard Fairey.
Julia Reihs
A mural painted this week on the LINE Hotel depicts Wonder Woman breaking a chain. It was created to celebrate the 100th anniversary of the 19th amendment, which granted women the right to vote.

Two new murals were created in Austin this week as part of the Downtown Austin Alliance Foundation's "Writing on the Walls" series. The weeklong art event was dedicated to empowering women in the community. 

The public artwork celebrates the 100th anniversary of the 19th amendment, which granted women the right to vote. Canadian artist Sandra Chevrier was chosen to collaborate with American street artist Shepard Fairey to paint on the west side of the LINE Hotel.

The 12-story landmark features DC Comics superhero Wonder Woman breaking a chain. It's now the largest mural in the city.  

A mural of three women coming out of water with lotus flowers.
Credit Julia Reihs / KUT
Artist Sade Lawson says her mural on South Lamar is meant to represent female empowerment and mental health awareness.

Sadé Lawson was picked to transform a wall on South Lamar. The Austin-based artist said her mural focused on female empowerment and mental health awareness, emphasizing the fact that "it's OK to not be OK."

Lawson said public murals can help share a message with others going through similar experiences. She said she wants to encourage an open conversation and let people know they're not alone. 

Austin-based artist Sade Lawson paints a mural on South Lamar.
Credit Julia Reihs / KUT
Lawson says she wants her mural to send the message that "it's OK to not be OK" and that people are not alone.

The three figures she's painted in water are meant to represent one person. The woman is expressing different emotions: hope, assertiveness and despair. Lawson said she associates mood with color, which is why the figures are yellow, red and blue. 

She also added lotus flowers because of their strong and symbolic meaning. 

"Lotus flowers thrive in really harsh environments; they thrive in muddy water and they kind of blossom and bloom with [their] pedals untouched," Lawson said.

To her, the flowers mean an individual is not defined by their circumstances and can use their weaknesses as strengths.