A Public Art Input Session with David Blancas

URBAN-15, David Blancas, Oscar Alvarado, and the City of San Antonio invite the Presa Real neighborhood and wider community—particularly its elders—to attend a free exhibit on June 30th, starting at 7pm at 2500 S. Presa. Come meet one of the key artists involved in creating murals beneath the US Highway 90 underpasses, and contribute your family stories and photos to be considered as potential mural vignettes!

This event is part of a larger project sponsored by The City of San Antonio’s Department of Arts & Culture, in collaboration with the City’s World Heritage Office, to develop the World Heritage Mural Trail by placing murals in key areas along the trail to enhance the experience of place. To date, a mural has been dedicated at Stinson Municipal Airport, final designs have been approved for locations at Villamain Road (underneath Loop 410) and along US90 underpasses (including Presa, Roosevelt, and Mission/Steves), and an artist has been selected for a site on Mission Parkway at SE Military.

For the US90 underpass mural locations, the City is working with local artists David Blancas and Oscar Alvarado to create and install mosaic tile and murals on concrete columns to convey the neighborhood’s history and culture. Additionally, the City is partnering with URBAN-15 on a community engagement process for this project, publicly exhibiting a full-scale model of one of the proposed mural columns and hosting a session with the neighborhood to gather stories and input for incorporation into the mural vignettes. On June 30, mural artist David Blancas will be present at URBAN-15 to present his and Alvarado’s progress to date and visit with community members about the mural content and its historical/cultural references.

The artist team will be displaying project work and gathering photos all summer at URBAN-15. After June 30, stop by the URBAN-15 Studio on Tuesday, Wednesday or Thursday from 12-6pm to view the latest work and learn more.

About the artists:

David Blancas is a visual artist with a repertoire spanning public art, murals, sculpture, portraiture, mosaics, and contemporary artwork. Born in Nueva Rosita, Coahuila, in northern Mexico, he became a San Antonian at age four. His calling to become an artist came at the early age of five when he began realizing his natural ability to draw. With a lifetime to develop his artistic skills as a painter and mixed-media artist, Blancas enjoys creating different collections and private commissions with personal, cultural, experiential and political expressions.

Photo Credit: Al Rendon

Oscar Alvarado has created art for over twenty years, from found-object, electric assemblage sculptures to large-scale sculptures intricately covered with thousands of mosaic pieces of tile and glass. Utilizing muraling, mosaic, and sculpture materials and methods that have been in use for millennia, and inspired as well by architects like Antoni Gaudi and Frederick Law Olmsted, Alvarado endeavors to create pieces that are both beautiful and built to last. Through a collaborative process, he often works closely with design professionals on large-scale and/or public projects, and when appropriate builds community participation into the construction/installation process to involve the public itself in the making of public art.

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