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mosaic mural and artist
mosaic mural and artist
Photos: Tim Brownlee

Mosaic artist visits mural project in UTSA's new Main Building

(April 22, 2004)--Work progresses on the Main Building, also known as Academic Building III, at the UTSA 1604 Campus, as the June 1 move-in date approaches.

Boston artist Mike Mandel visited UTSA Thursday to check the progress on two murals he designed for the Main Building lobby. The mosaics are part of UTSA's ongoing public art project facilitated by the UTSA Arts Commission chaired by art professor Ron Binks.

Mandel was one of several well-known artists invited to submit design proposals for the project. The commission appointed by President Ricardo Romo, which includes faculty members, regional and national art experts, and UT System representatives, selected Mandel's mural concept.

Pictured (top photo) is Mandel at the west mural in the Main Building lobby, and an alternate view down the staircase.

The mosaics on the east and west walls of the lobby are based on the theme "history transforms." The east mosaic, designed to look like an open book, portrays San Antonio's history and future with a depiction of Mission San Jose, downtown and the Main Building. The west mosaic shows Hispanic American soldiers from the World War II era, the first UTSA graduating class and contemporary students from diverse ethnic groups.

"The murals portray a change of values and a look toward the future," said Mandel. "The soldiers in the mosaic probably fought Asian people in the war, but now students from that culture and many others are part of the future of UTSA and San Antonio. The murals are an attempt to show how we're coming to terms with who we are and how much we are changing."

According to Daniel Sibley, UTSA assistant director of facilities planning and development, faculty and staff are set to begin moving into the new academic and administrative structure June 1, starting with the academic east wing. Administrators and staff are scheduled to start moving into the west wing July 1, with all moves complete by the start of fall semester.

--Tim Brownlee

University Communications
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