New downtown mural honors Austin musician and artist Daniel Johnston

The side of the contemporary Austin, which has the Daniel Johnston mural.
The mural's official ribbon-cutting ceremony will be open to the public on Saturday, Jan. 21. | Photo by ATXtoday team.

A new mural at The Contemporary Austin’s Jones Center downtown honoring the legacy of Austin musician and artist Daniel Johnston will be officially unveiled tomorrow, which would have been Daniel’s 61st birthday. 🎨

Tomorrow is also officially “Hi, How Are You Day” in Austin, a day titled after the late artist’s most iconic work and in recognition of his struggles with mental health.

Daniel gained popularity as a musician and artist in the 1990s, and is known for songs like the moving “True Love Will Find You in the End.” 

You’ve probably seen his most well-known artwork, the 1993 “Hi, How Are You?” mural off of  The Drag — but did you know this work of art was actually famous before it was a mural? Kurt Cobain wore this drawing on a t-shirt to the 1992 MTV Music Awards.

(Here’s another fun fact for you: Originally from California, Daniel ended up in Austin when the carnival he was working for stopped in the city, and he decided to stay. 🎡)

The iconic Hi, How Are You mural off of Guadalupe Stree.
Johnston’s iconic mural of Jeremiah the Innocent has remained off of Guadalupe Street since 1993. | Photo by the ATXtoday team.

The artist died from natural causes in 2019 at the age of 58. In honor of Daniel’s struggles with manic depressive schizophrenia, his family + community members created the Hi, How Are You Project, a nonprofit focused on mental health awareness.

Tilted “I Live My Broken Dreams,” the new mural features Daniel’s favorite characters. This includes Jeremiah the Innocent, a frog-like creature that represents pure innocence, and Vile Corrupt, Jeremiah’s evil nemesis.

The museum also launched a retrospective of Daniel’s work in September, which will be on display until Mar. 20.

The mural’s ribbon-cutting ceremony will be open to the public tomorrow at 12:30 p.m., but you can also tune in to the live-stream on Instagram at @contemporaryatx

Either way, be sure to celebrate Hi, How Are You Day tomorrow by checking in on the mental wellbeing of your loved ones and neighbors. 💚