While trying to find my way back to Congress Ave, I was picking my way through the neighborhood behind The Great Outdoors (on S Congress Ave) when I stumbled upon the Flamingo Ranch. Driving past, I noticed the mosaic walls and had to stop. I parked my car and began soaking in my find, looking at all the different pieces of the mosaics and admiring the amount of love built into each. While snapping some photos, the owner and artist of the Flamingo Ranch, Stefanie Distefano, pulled up and invited me to go behind the entry walls to see what other treasures the Ranch holds. Eagerly, I followed and was blown away by the creative space and the warmth and loving nature of Stefanie, allowing a weirdo stranger(me) in her front yard to explore and photograph her space.
To see more photos, click here
You’ll recognize Stefanie’s work around town, at the Zilker Science and Nature Center, the “two-story marbled salamander climbs the wall of the building where the near endangered Barton Salamander is researched. A bridge on El Paso Street depicts two koi swimming above the creek. Below them, a Dia de Los Muertos mural pays tribute to those on the other side. Torchy’s Restaurant, Active Life Wellness Center and many other pieces around town are instantly recognizable and represent their communities.”
Stefanie, it was an absolute pleasure meeting you! And thank you so much for being part of what I love so much about Austin.
With love, as always,