A new mural has been unveiled to remember the late Daniel Johnston on ‘Hi, How Are You? Day.’
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The influential lo-fi singer, songwriter and visual artist, who died last September after suffering a heart attack, inspired ‘Hi, How Are You?’ – a project designed to encourage and open up conversation around mental health.
Now in its third year, the project unveiled a new mural yesterday (January 22) at Austin Central Library on what would have been Johnston’s 59th birthday. The permanent mural echoes one drawn by Johnston himself elsewhere in the city and on one of his album covers.
Austin is marking the third annual Hi, How Are You Day with the unveiling of a new Daniel Johnston mural at the central library.
— KUT Austin (@KUT) January 22, 2020
The ‘Hi, How Are You’ project encourages people to check in on people by simply asking them how they are, the project’s co-founder Tom Gimbel said.
“And really mean it,” he added. “Be sincere in asking that questions and checking in on one another and making sure that we’re doing all doing all right from a mental wellness standpoint…And if we’re not, let us know that it’s okay and that there’s help available.”
The unveiling of the mural coincided with a number of events in the city to remember Johnston, including a benefit concert.
Speaking to Kut 90.5 radio about the event, Gimbel said: “It’s going to be a celebration and some sadness that we’re missing Dan.” Proceeds from the event will go to a number of mental health awareness programmes.
A statement released by Johnston’s family after his death last year described him as “prolific” and “a friend to all.”
It read: “Daniel was a singer, songwriter, an artist, and a friend to all. Although he struggled with mental health issues for much of his adult life, Daniel triumphed over his illness through his prolific output of art and songs.
“He inspired countless fans, artists, and songwriters with his message that no matter how dark the day, ‘the sun shines down on me’ and ‘true love will find you in the end.”
Following his death last year, mourners gathered at his ‘Hi, How Are You?’ mural whilst many artists including Wilco, The National and Jack Antonoff paid tribute to the musician on stage.