The Heartbeat of Austin - CODAworx

The Heartbeat of Austin

Client: CapMetro

Location: Austin, TX, United States

Completion date: 2024

Artwork budget: $100,000

Project Team

Lead Artist

J Muzacz

Studio Assistant

Zoe Axelrod


Tony Moreno


Lynae Carroll


In just under six weeks, over 200 volunteers from these groups and more helped place the tiles that would create this monumental 80-foot-long mosaic mural. Their electrifying and collaborative spirit is both the inspiration behind this mosaic and what made it possible in record time.

The design collages together community leaders and everyday individuals, selected for their dynamic poses and mood, to create an energetic collage that reflects the passion and spirit expressed through music, art, and sport. The background references Mexican serape blanket patterns and represents the interwoven narrative throughout this project and the diversity of our city, creating a quilt-like effect — a thread becomes the blanket in the same way that an individual becomes the team or a tile becomes the mosaic.

This mosaic is a testament to Austin FC fans and supporter groups’ incredible passion and collective power, showcasing their unwavering dedication to the music and service to the Austin community. It is also CapMetro’s largest public art in transit installation to date, and the largest pixelated glass mural in Texas.


Project goals were to:
- Bring excitement and visual interest to the new McKalla Station
- Create a landmark artwork that distinguishes McKalla Station
- Uplift the everyday heroes on CapMetro's staff
- Reflect the intense energy and enthusiasm of Austin FC games and their fans

The spirit of Austin to me is really the creativity in our community, expressed as people come together through music and art to make change, celebrating and uplifting one another, being joyful, and generally just making a lot of noise! I felt that La Murga, CollecTifo, Los Verdes, and many other supporter groups represented that ethos of Austin that I love, and rallying around that idea with a logical tie-in to Austin FC felt perfect for the mural at this location.


Lively community workdays brought in hundreds of dedicated community members and Austin FC supporter group participants to our studio to help lay 3/4in vitreous glass tiles in small sections, similar to a color by numbers, referring to our prepared design templates. These square foot sections were held together using strong mosaic tape and later brought to McKalla Station for installation.