Earlier this month, the City of San Antonio’s Department of Arts & Culture debuted Poet’s Pointe, a public art mini-park designed by local artists.
The project grew out of the city’s Seeling Channel floodplain capital improvements project, a multi-million dollar initiative to improve the drainage of stormwater, in response to the devastating 2002 flood that affected the area. Kim Bishop and Luis Valderas collaborated on the park, which celebrates visual art and incorporates prose by neighborhood artists and poems selected by Octavio Quintanilla, San Antonio Poet Laureate (2018-2020). Located at 2509 W Mistletoe Avenue, in northwest San Antonio, Poet’s Pointe features a long curved wall that frames seven poems and seven artworks, three steel shade structures, seating, plant life, and paths.
In a press release, lead artists Ms. Bishop and Mr. Valderas stated, “This project gave us an opportunity to create a place where the future of this community can gather, meditate and perform while they look up to the sky and contemplate the most important question —’What if?’”
Ms. Bishop and Mr. Valderas invited seven artists who reside in Council District 7, where the park is located, to be a part of the project. Original artworks were created by Brandy Gonzalez, Cody Vance, Debora Kuetzpal Vasquez, David Zamora Casas, Jose Balli, Margaret Craig, and Norma Jean Moore. Similarly, Mr. Quintanilla invited local poets Eddie Vega, Joshua Robbins, and Natalia Treviño, and four San Antonio Poets Laureate, Andrea “Vocab” Sanderson, Dr. Carmen Tafolla, and Jenny Browne, to be a part of the project. The artists and poets drew inspiration from nature and nearby street names, such as Magnolia, Mistletoe, Morning Glory, Mulberry, and Huisache.
Mr. Quintanilla remarked, “Having a public space in this city that speaks to our love of art and poetry is special; not many exist in the United States. Now residents, and in particular the people who live in this neighborhood, can come and enjoy the art, the poems and maybe even be inspired to make their own. This is exactly what I envisioned for my Legacy Project as Poet Laureate: a space for us to come together and share our love for the arts, a space that would be accessible to our children so that they can grow up exposed to art and poetry and learn how enriching these can be to our collective and personal lives.”
A ribbon cutting ceremony for the park was held on Saturday, June 10, 2023, and the park is now open to the public. Learn more about Poet’s Pointe at the City of San Antonio’s website.