Heat, beeping buses and squawking real-life grackles couldn’t keep artist Christy Stallop from her mission: to paint a luchador grackle mural as part of the Capital Metro Art Boxes project, in which Central Texas artists create custom installations on utility boxes near MetroRapid stations.

Stallop says she was "a huge fan of the cheeky bird" even before starting her piece; she has a series of paintings of grackles wearing luchador masks and party hats or doing oddball things like knitting.

She worked over four days in the July heat to complete the grackles on the box on South Congress Avenue near Home Slice Pizza; she plans to finish up the background of the mural in a few weeks.

Lillian Roy, 7, of Nashville, Tenn., gets a painting lesson from Austin artist Christy Stallop on South Congress Avenue as Stallop works on her luchador grackle mural. "I liked it so much I just told my mom I might paint street art some day," Lillian said. AMANDA VOISARD/AMERICAN-STATESMAN

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