Confluence of Civilizations (Merida)
murals (any medium), tile, glass
More About the Artist
As the Henry B. González Convention Center expands toward the east, the obsolete portion of the west wing will be demolished to make room for a new civic park (corner S. Alamo & Market).
As a part of the expansion, the HemisFair ’68-era glass tile mosaic mural by Carlos Merida is being adapted for outdoor viewing. It will face the Juan O’Gorman mosaic on the façade of Lila Cockrell Theatre.
A third HemisFair ’68-era mural painting by Fred Samuelson was conserved and relocated to the convention center’s Bridge Hall that spans the River Walk. The three “Confluence” murals are being united for the first time and all three murals will be visible from the Bridge Hall.
The 1440 square-foot mosaic by Merida will be protected by a balcony structure above it at concourse level featuring lighting that will illuminate the artwork at night.
The conservation of the glass tile mosaic is being overseen by the same family of artisans who helped to install it nearly 50 years ago, the San Antonio-based Cavallini Stained Glass & Architectural Mosaics Studio.
Mérida’s glass mosaic mural was commissioned by Alfred and Nancy Negley as a gift to the City of San Antonio on the occasion of HemisFair ‘68. Nancy Negley is a Houston-based arts philanthropist.
Carlos Merida’s granddaughter María Cristina Navas y Mérida is active in preserving the legacy of her grandfather’s artistic practice. She is the cultural attaché for the Embassy of Guatemala in Mexico.
Carlos Mérida (1891-1984) was born in Guatemala City, Guatemala. At the age of 28 he moved to Mexico City and lived there until his death. Mérida traveled frequently to Europe and met many innovators of modern art. A prolific painter and printmaker, Mérida’s early works were figurative, often with folkloric themes. His artwork evolved into geometric abstraction and often incorporated indigenous Mesoamerican themes.