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UTSA partners with West Side community to help restore iconic mural

UTSA partners with West Side community to help restore iconic mural

Roadrunners help in the restoration of an iconic West Side mural.

FEBRUARY 5, 2020 — UTSA students, faculty and staff painted shoulder-to-shoulder with artists and members of the local community on Jan. 30 to help restore an iconic mural on the San Antonio’s West Side. The event—Painting with a Purpose—took place on UTSA’s Downtown Campus.

Titled La Música de San Anto, the 150-foot public mural pays homage to 10 San Antonio music legends. Completed in 2009, the mural is located near the West Commerce Bridge, considered a gateway to the city’s West Side neighborhood.

Over the past decade weather has taken a toll on the outdoor mural, causing it to require extensive restoration. Partners on the effort include the Westside Development Corp., San Anto Cultural Arts, and La Printeria, along with partnering sponsors UTSA, Google Fiber and Weston Urban.

“This collaboration is a terrific example of some of the positive work coming from UTSA’s Westside Community Partnerships initiative.”

ELVIRA LEAL, Assistant Vice President for Community Relations

“This was a great way for our communities to come together to contribute to a work of art and to see it restored for years to come,” said Elvira Leal, assistant vice president for community relations at UTSA. “This collaboration is a terrific example of some of the positive work coming from UTSA’s Westside Community Partnerships initiative.”

David Blancas, who studied fine art at UTSA, is the director and lead muralist of Project Inspire: Mural Arts Program, an organization that collaborates with other agencies to produce community murals and public art projects. “There is a lot of change going on in this area, so this project is a preservation of heritage,” noted Blancas. “This restoration event hosted by UTSA is making a positive impact on the cultural history of the West Side community.”

Learn more about UTSA’s Westside Community Partnerships initiative.

Participants at the event helped restore two of the mural’s panels, with Blancas laying out the design on paper and participants filling in with colored paint. Harvey Mireles of La Printeria was also on site, demonstrating silk-screening techniques.

UTSA’s Downtown Campus will host another opportunity for members of the community to work on La Música de San Anto later in February.

Rachel Barchus

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