Google Paint the Town - Florence Swanson

Resident, Florence Swanson, designs “guitar guy” illustration for Google’s self-driving vehicles

Conservatory at Wells Branch’s resident, Florence Swanson, recently participated in a special “Paint the Town” contest at Google, and received recognition from the technology company for her contribution. Google invited artists in select cities to submit art to be featured on the prototype vehicles of Google’s self-driving cars, in an effort to turn its self-driving cars into moving works of art. Swanson submitted her design to Google’s “Paint the Town: Austin” contest, and her submission was one of six selected illustrations from the Austin area to be featured on the sides of Google’s self-driving prototype vehicles.

Just shy of her 94th birthday, Swanson has always had a great passion for painting, and the minute she heard about Google’s “Paint the Town” in Austin contest, she thought to herself, “I have exactly what they want.”

Fondly called, “the live music capital of the world,” Austin’s music scene served as Swanson’s inspiration for her artwork, the “guitar guy,” claiming, “A guy with a guitar, that’s Austin.”

Centered around the contest’s theme of “my community, my neighbors,” winners were selected based on how well the theme was represented, aGoogle Paint the Town - Guitar Guyrtistic merit and creativity depicted through concept, style, and utilization of space and color. Swanson and the five other selected artists were recognized by Google at a special event, and were awarded a $500 gift card and the opportunity to ride in one of the driverless cars.

“It was a thrill, actually,” Swanson said, regarding her recognition from Google. “I never thought at the age of 94 that I could be this happy.”

“We love to see our residents being active within their communities, and we are proud to have one of our own recognized in this special Google contest,” said Thomas Harrison, CEO and founder, Discovery Senior Living. “Swanson’s creativity can serve as inspiration for us all, and there is no better way to illustrate the unique spirit of the Austin area than with her design of the ‘guitar guy.’”

Google’s self-driving prototype vehicles are currently being tested on the streets of Austin, Texas and Mountain View, California. The cars have safety drivers onboard, but are designed to be fully self-driving. Steering wheel and pedals are removed, and instead feature a prototype that enables software and sensors take care of the driving.

The Conservatory at Wells Branch is located at 14320 Tandem Blvd. in Austin. For more information about the Conservatory at Wells Branch, or to schedule a tour of the community, call 512-600-1532 or visit