Henry Gonzalez 1951-2016
South Pop: Armadillo Art Squad
“SouthPop founder and father, Henry Gonzalez. The unoffical mayor of South Austin… the keeper and sharer of the stories that make Austin great.”
Henry Gonzalez was born into a South Texas family of graphic artists and has studied art at some of the best state universities in Texas. Primarily known for his murals and outdoor art installations, since 1972 he was part of the Armadillo Art Squad at the legendary Armadillo World Headquarters- a group of young artists who created all the posters, handbills and print ads that promoted the performances at the club. After the club closed, Henry spent time as the stage manager for the Austin Opera House and for the AFM free concert series.
He continued to create artwork and worked in a production capacity on the road with touring bands until 2004 when the South Austin Popular Culture Center was founded. Since that time he has been the Facility Manager, overseeing the building, hanging the exhibits and acting as exhibit guide. His year-round project is the Memorial Wall that includes photographs of people who have had an impact on Austin culture and have passed away. The project culminates each October 30th with a Dia De Los Muertos celebration at the Center.
We encourage all of Henry’s fans and friends to come by the Center and enjoy his beautiful work in this beautiful weather. It’s a day Henry would have definitely spent outside hard at work creating sculptures and murals for you all to enjoy. On our memorial wall, a special tribute has sprung up, and we look forward to seeing it grow over the next few days until we can get something more permanent put together.
Thank you all for your kind words and support during this time. It means so much to us and his family to hear good stories from the community Henry kept alive all these years. Please keep them coming!
“Great Musician, Greater Artist, Greatest Friend to All. Now Resides on His Own Wall. We’ll Miss You. R.I.P.”