New Paleta-Inspired Sculpture Debuts Outside San Antonio’s Centro de Artes Gallery

by Jessica Fuentes March 3, 2022

The City of San Antonio Department of Arts & Culture has debuted a new paleta-inspired sculpture at the entrance of the Centro de Artes Gallery, which is located in the city’s Historic Market Square.

A photograph of a paleta sculpture by David Blancas. The 10-foot sculpture is of an overturned paleta. The paleta is painted with swirls of pink, blue, and purple.

David Blancas, “Sabor del Mercado,” 2022, acrylic paint, wood, and resin. Image courtesy of the City of San Antonio’s Department of Arts & Culture.

The sculpture, titled Sabor del Mercado which translates to Taste of the Market, is the latest of San Antonio-based artist David Blancas’ paleta-themed artworks. Mr. Blancas, a sculptor and muralist, is known for his paleta sculptures of various sizes, which are on view throughout the city at local businesses and in private collections. 

In a press release, Mr. Blancas stated, “Paletas are an integral part of spring and summertime in San Antonio. I create paleta sculptures as a nod to childhood memories of chasing down the paleta man.”

A sculpture of a paleta by David Blancas. The sculpture is of a red overturned paleta that appears to be melting.

David Blancas, “Ordinanced Out.”

Though these sculptures are bright, fun, and culturally relevant, in recent years they have come to stand for more. In a 2020 video interview with Latin Groove News, Mr. Blancas addressed how paleteros (the people who sell paletas) have come under attack both physically and through the creation of city ordinances prohibiting street vendors. The artist stated that he hoped the paletas would inspire people to make their voices heard by voting.

Department of Arts & Culture Interim Executive Director Krystal Jones added, “This vibrant sculpture is debuting at the perfect time, as we prepare to highlight the works of 34 San Antonio artists representing 12 different countries. Sabor del Mercado will be a visual identifier for Centro de Artes and the Historic Market Square, which includes a wide variety of culinary experiences.”

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