Posted 145 days ago ago by Javier Flores (Arts)
Marisol Cortez, URBAN-15
Javier Flores, Department of Arts & Culture
URBAN-15 Hosts Exhibit Opening and Community Input Session for Mural Project by Artists David Blancas and Oscar Alvarado
Neighborhood Residents Invited to Share Family Stories and Photos for ‘US 90 Underpasses’ Murals, part of World Heritage Trail Public Art Project
SAN ANTONIO (June 30, 2017) – URBAN-15, muralist David Blancas and mosaic artist Oscar Alvarado invite the community to attend the opening of a new exhibit that features works to be included as part of the City of San Antonio’s World Heritage Trail Public Art Project.
The exhibit opens tonight, June 30, at URBAN-15, 2500 S. Presa, with a reception from 7-9 p.m. The exhibit, which is free and open to the public, also will serve as an opportunity for San Antonio community members, especially longtime and former residents of the neighborhoods along the World Heritage Trail and the Missions, to learn about this project and contribute family stories and photos. These mementos will be documented and considered as possible subjects and themes for the mural vignettes.
“The World Heritage Trail Public Art Project is special because each artwork not only captures the spirit of San Antonio, but captures the stories of the neighborhoods, the families and the businesses that have contributed so much in making our city what it is today,” Councilwoman Rebecca Viagran said. “These stories are part of the fabric of San Antonio, and we are proud that they are being shared in such a unique way.”
For this public art project, Blancas and Alvarado are transforming concrete columns at four underpasses along US 90 to convey the neighborhood’s history and culture. This artist team, with support from URBAN-15 and its co-founder George Cisneros, will utilize the columns to depict and highlight historical events, scenes from everyday life, special neighborhood landmarks, and notable residents. The City has partnered with URBAN-15 on a community engagement process for this mural project, publicly exhibiting a full-scale model of one of the proposed mural columns and hosting the June 30 event for neighborhood residents to share stories and input.
Blancas and Alvarado will be displaying project work and gathering photos from residents all summer at URBAN-15. Individuals can stop by on Tuesdays, Wednesdays, and Thursdays from noon-6 p.m.
The World Heritage Public Art project is a collaboration between the City of San Antonio’s Department of Arts & Culture and World Heritage Office, and various community organizations. These functional murals will be placed in key areas along the World Heritage Trail route to reinforce and enhance the visitor experience, while also providing an aesthetic vision that reflects the rich history and culture of the missions, people and neighborhoods within the area. To date, a mural has been dedicated at Stinson Municipal Airport, final designs have been approved for locations at Villamain Road (underneath Loop 410) and along US90 underpasses (including Presa, Roosevelt, and Mission/Steves), and an artist has been selected for a site on Mission Parkway at SE Military.
Residents with questions on the World Heritage Trail Public Art Project can call 210-207-2111 or visit www.sanantonio.gov/WorldHeritage/Work-Plan-Updates/Beautification for more information.
About the Artists
David Blancas is a visual artist with a repertoire spanning public art, murals, sculpture, portraiture, mosaics, and contemporary artwork. Born in Nueva Rosita, Coahuila, in northern Mexico, he became a San Antonian at age four. His calling to become an artist came at the early age of five when he began realizing his natural ability to draw. With a lifetime to develop his artistic skills as a painter and mixed-media artist, Blancas enjoys creating different collections and private commissions with personal, cultural, experiential and political expressions.
Oscar Alvarado has created art for over twenty years, from found-object, electric assemblage sculptures to large-scale sculptures intricately covered with thousands of mosaic pieces of tile and glass. Utilizing muraling, mosaic, and sculpture materials and methods that have been in use for millennia, and inspired as well by architects like Antoni Gaudi and Frederick Law Olmsted, Alvarado endeavors to create pieces that are both beautiful and built to last. Through a collaborative process, he often works closely with design professionals on large-scale and/or public projects, and when appropriate builds community participation into the construction/installation process to involve the public itself in the making of public art.