On a pleasant Saturday at the end of September, thousands of local residents and visitors from 12 states—as well as from Mexico—gathered in downtown Amarillo for a day-long party celebrating art, music and community. Now in its fourth year, the Hoodoo Mural Festival oversaw the completion of 22 murals and welcomed nearly 2,500 attendees—a 31 percent increase over last year’s festival.
“The community really showed up to support this event,” says Hoodoo founder Andrew Hall. “One of the things we are most proud of is the festival’s ability to bring together people from all walks of life—people from other states and countries, young people, creatives, art appreciators, music lovers, and community leaders. Every attendee at the event was able to share space, joy, and make memories together, which has always been the driving force behind this event.”
Artists painted seven large-scale murals in downtown Amarillo during the two weeks leading up to the Sept. 30 event. These are visible now at 616 S. Harrison (Trav and Emjay), 1220 S. Polk (Alli K), 411 S. Fillmore (Jeremy Biggers), 816 Van Buren (Ariel Parrow and Sean Hamilton), 515 S. Polk (JEKS and Amarillo’s own Malcom Byers) and 1018 S. Van Buren (Canyon artist and educator Jon Revett).
A wall at 418 S. Tyler, curated by Blank Spaces, featured panels by local artists, including Buchanan Carr, Cameron Barnes, Graceson Cole, Sydni Lovett, Amber Morgan, Rath, Kara Speedy, Irving Perez, Melynn Huntley and Vickie Hoskins.
And for the first time this year, Hoodoo invited five artists—Dan Black, Carlo Barboza, Britt Johnson, Feebee and Matt Tumlinson—to create “mobile murals” on panels, which were auctioned at the festival.
The art continued at the festival as Amarillo Museum of Art brought in an entire car, painted white, and invited the public to decorate it throughout the day. Meanwhile, organizers devoted a full parking lot to pop-up vendors. The Brick & Elm Food Truck Alley on Fifth Avenue kept festival goers occupied and fed while Little Bee’s Playhouse provided a safe space for children to play.
And while the murals dominate the days leading up to the festival, the Saturday event itself was built around music. “We’re thrilled at how the event turned out,” says Hoodoo producer Will Krause, an Amarillo native who’s also a production manager with SXSW. “With a wide variety of music to enjoy, there was something for everyone.”
This year, the festival dedicated one stage near the vendors and Food Truck Alley to highlight local musicians, who brought an immense amount of talent and energy. Local DJs kept the crowd moving via silent disco headphones across every corner of the festival grounds. The main stage hosted an unforgettable lineup of national musicians: multi-platinum producer and Hoodoo regular Kaelin Ellis, Italian guitarist Giacomo Turra, Amarillo native Cody Jasper, and headliner LP Giobbi, a DJ and producer whose live piano set lit up the crowd after sunset.
“The artists we brought in for the festival fell in love with Amarillo and vowed to come back,” Krause says. “Looking into the crowd was inspiring and reminded me why we do this event—to see everyone have a good time, with smiles on their faces.”
Next year’s mural festival has already been scheduled for Sept. 28, 2024.