San Antonio, Texas. ART Magazine
“Haydee, What was your major in college again?”, says my uncle at my graduation party. “Art and Art History”, I replied. Confused, he looked at me and said: ” So, what are you going to do with that? Are you going to be a… painter?”. I sighed, because I have been defending my career for a long time, and I said: “Well, there is a lot of things you can do. You can be an artist, you can work at a museum, you can have an art gallery, you can become a researcher, you can be a teacher, you can be a writer, you can be an illustrator; it depends on what you want to do”. It did not get him out of his confusion, but it made me happy to realize that after graduating at least I could answer that question. As a little girl, I grew up with the idea that art would not get me a paycheck, which I still (maybe naively) believe is not true. I am proud of the organizations in San Antonio that encourage young students and that instead of telling them they will starve to death, they actually believe in them and try to teach them the right way. Say Sí and Blue Star’s Mosaic Art are one of the organizations that lead High School students into a path where they are put into real world experiences for an artist giving them hope for an art career. One example of this experiences is the handmade tile mural that was built by Mosaic’s students under artist Alex Rubio and was unveiled last weekend.
The handmade tile mural, which took a year for them to build, is a very rich piece that really speaks of community, not only by the project’s nature and the collaboration with H-E-B, but also because of the fact that it is made out of handmade tile and the fact that it deals with the history of San Antonio, really emphasizes that everyone contributed to this piece. The piece was made by the community for the community, and it really shows. It is a great experience for young art students to be part of a project of this scale and permanence. “The MOSAIC program has helped me grow into the young artist I am today, with a clearer idea of my own individuality and self expression,” said Juan Flores, a student at Brackenridge High School. “I feel like I have been enlightened to knowing who I am as a person and what I must do throughout my life to achieve happiness by pursuing an art career.” These young artists were supported and, most importantly, trusted by H-E-B, Blue Star, and Alex Rubio. Hopefully, these young artists will have more and more input in these sort of projects for them to take advantage of this opportunities and learn the most they can.
Public and community projects like these are not only important to encourage creativity in our future adults; they are also important because they are influential sources of creativity that interact with people’s daily lives. San Antonio is very fortunate to have a decent public art program downtown. The citizens live around beautiful sculptures, designed parasoles, artist-made bus stops, benches, etc. This public displays of artistic thinking energize the city and revitalize the passers-by thinking. Unfortunately, the public art in San Antonio has not gotten very far away from downtown, but it is nice to see that there are some efforts happening on East Houston Street already.
The largest completely handmade tile mural in San Antonio can be seen at H-E-B on 415 North New Braunfels Ave. For more information about the Mosaic Program please go to Blue Star’s website: bluestarart.org