San Antonio artist Cruz Ortiz is currently installing his Dream Song Tower, a new $360,000 public art project, along the city’s South Side. Inspired by its location as a gateway to the city from South Texas, the teepee-like sculpture is based on Native American architecture and includes lyrics from a Selena song “Dreaming of You.” The piece also includes bird figures and star shapes that will move in the wind.
In a statement, Ortiz discussed his thoughts behind the sculpture:
The inspiration for my sculpture was based on the location. That was really the focus. It is a representation of the culture, dreams and aspiration of the South Side community. The images are based on Mexican American folklore that families have been passing down to their children for generations that have populated their dreams. We are dreamers, too. Please do not manipulate this with a pop culture narrative. This is a love letter to and from the South Side.
Funding for the project came from federal community development block grants with a goal of revitalizing the neighborhood and improving mobility. Along with the sculpture comes improved sidewalks and landscaping. A dedication ceremony for the work will take place in January of 2018.
I mean no disrespect to the artist, who makes cool prints and stuff, but that is a terrible public art piece. The committee who selected that should be ashamed and never be allowed to make such decisions. Now, if every cell tower in San Antonio had that kind of design then the choice for the structure would be covered and the dual visual and function would be cool, but alas.
We need real criticism in this state regarding art and culture. Too many people just happy to do ‘something’ we don’t stop to question the quality and longevity of the idea. Look at “Jefre” at the police headquarters or the large tower that cost over a million in the convention center.