New Murals Come to San Antonio

by Jessica Fuentes August 29, 2023

Recently, the city of San Antonio has seen an influx of new murals installed through various programs and initiatives, including the Centro Public Improvement District Management Corporation San Antonio’s (Centro’s) Art Everywhere Project, the University of Texas at San Antonio, and McDonald’s national Ritmo y Color initiative.

A photograph of a mural by Rudy Herrera.

“Shared Magic” by Rudy Herrera

Centro, a nonprofit organization that manages the City’s downtown Public Improvement District, was established in 1982. In addition to organizing volunteers to welcome people to downtown and to clean and maintain the area, the organization also hosts events, programs, and initiatives such as the Art Everywhere Project.

Launched in 2020, Art Everywhere has supported local artists in the installation of 140 public art pieces, including murals and prints of artists’ works. The initiative identifies underutilized spaces in downtown San Antonio and fills those spaces with art. Through the program, artists are paid a small honorarium and nearby businesses and their patrons learn about local artists. 

Andrea Rodriguez, Centro San Antonio’s Vice President of Cultural Placemaking, told Glasstire, “Many downtowns around the world possess a vibrancy because of the art that exists in the public realm; we lacked that here, so we initiated the project a little over three years ago in May of 2020, hoping that a little art might spark some joy. We began with one mural — and the response was so positively overwhelming we decided we must do it again.”

While the program does post open calls, Centro is also approached by individual artists and arts organizations with proposals. Ms. Rodriguez works to match artists with businesses and other stakeholders in the downtown area to bring these ideas to fruition.

A photograph of a storefront window filled with art.

“8 x 8: Eight Curators – Eight City Blocks” at RiverCenter

Most recently, the Art Everywhere Project launched its 8 x 8: Eight Curators – Eight City Blocks program. Because San Antonio’s downtown is within a historic district, there are limits on which walls can be utilized for murals. For this project, Ms. Rodriguez worked with eigh local gallerists and art leaders from organizations such as The Contemporary at Blue Star, Space C7 Gallery, Masa Boys Collective, Eye of The Beholder Gallery, Henry Ford Academy of Art and Design, and The Carver, to curate storefront windows on eight city blocks.

View a map of each of the Art Everywhere Projects via the Centro San Antonio website.

A photograph of a tiled mural on the exterior of a brick building.

Mark Hogensen, “Discovery Enterprise,” 2023.

Earlier this month, Mark Hogensen, an artist and alumni of the University of Texas at San Antonio (UTSA), installed a tiled mural at the university’s San Pedro 1 campus, which opened in January 2023 just east of the UTSA Downtown campus.

The mural, Discovery Enterprise, is on the northwest corner of the building and measures 58 feet long by 10 feet tall. The futuristic style of the design uses perspective to create illusions of space and references architecture and landscape. 

UTSA partnered with the City of San Antonio’s Department of Arts & Culture on the project, which included hosting early community conversations to outline the scope and theme of the work. 

A photograph of muralists Manola and Maria Ramirez standing outside of a McDonald's where they have installed a mural.

Manola and Maria Ramirez

In June, Manola and Maria Ramirez, sisters who are both University of Texas at Austin graduates with BFAs in Studio Art, installed a mural as part of McDonald’s National Ritmo y Color initiative. The program celebrates Latin music and art by inviting artists in Latino communities to reimagine a McDonald’s restaurant in their community. 

In a press release, Anna Oquin, a local McDonald’s owner/operator, “As a Hispanic business owner here in San Antonio, it’s an honor to showcase Manola and Maria’s Hilos de Orientación (Threads of Guidance) mural at my McDonald’s. I can’t wait to shine a light on this community’s talent, and I hope it inspires the next generation of local artists here in South and Central Texas.”

A photograph of muralists Manola and Maria Ramirez standing inside of a McDonald's where they have installed a mural.

Manola and Maria Ramirez

The Ramirez sisters’ mural is rooted in aspects of their Mexican culture, traditions, and ancestors. The design incorporates shapes inspired by the traditional folkloric dress from Jalisco and patterns reminiscent of Talavera pottery, which is native to Guanajuato, where the artists’ family originates. Additionally, the flowers in the work are a tribute to their grandparents, who inspired their love for nature. 

Manola and Maria Ramirez said, “The opportunity to work with McDonald’s through Ritmo y Color has been a lot of fun. We are very grateful to have the platform to share our culture through our art.”

0 comment

You may also like

Leave a Comment

Funding generously provided by: