Saturday, November 26, 2022

UTSA and City of San Antonio to partner on downtown murals

UTSA and City of San Antonio to partner on downtown murals

SEPTEMBER 7, 2021 — The University of Texas at San Antonio Office of Community Relations and City of San Antonio’s Department of Arts & Culture are partnering to create new art displays that will enhance the downtown San Antonio area. The project, led by UTSA’s Westside Community Partnerships Initiative, will engage local artists in creating a unique focal point within the university’s growing downtown footprint.

This month, UTSA will issue a request for ideas to attract local artists who want to conceptualize and develop two murals at the university’s new School of Data Science and National Security Collaboration Center Building. The first mural will be located on the building’s west facade, overlooking San Pedro Creek. The second mural will wrap around the corner of the northeast side of the building, facing Dolorosa St.

“UTSA is committed to creating beautiful, pedestrian friendly public spaces that enhance the downtown area.”

"UTSA is committed to creating beautiful, pedestrian friendly public spaces that enhance the downtown area,” said Elvira Leal, assistant vice president for community relations at the UTSA Westside Community Center. “We recognize that with the construction of the new building for our School of Data Science and National Security Collaboration Center, we have an opportunity to merge art and data science in a way that creates something really beautiful and unique for our San Antonians.”

UTSA and the City of San Antonio are kicking off the new project with a public art survey. Members of the community are invited to share their opinions about the design of the murals between now and September 23, 2021.

Following the survey, UTSA will issue a call for proposals, asking artists to design and create two artistic murals. Artists will be asked to describe their context, theme, style and color palette. Proposed artworks may be educational or include a call to action.

To advance the project, the City of San Antonio’s Department of Arts & Culture will provide UTSA with access to resources and its experience in public art. The department will assist UTSA with the development and implementation of the murals’ themes, the selection of the winning artist and project management to ensure the murals are completed by their July 2022 unveiling date.

The project is part of an ongoing partnership between UTSA’s Westside Community Partnerships Initiative and the City of San Antonio to promote San Antonians’ quality of life by enhancing the downtown area.

The San Antonio River Authority and Centro San Antonio will also support the public art project by participating on a dynamic review team made up of community members, internal staff and students. The role of the review team is to engage at key milestones over the course of the entire project from start to end.

“UTSA’s commitment to making public art a priority in its campus expansion is monumental—not only for the institution—but for San Antonio as a whole,” said Debbie Racca-Sittre, director of the City of San Antonio’s Department of Arts & Culture.

“We are excited to provide technical assistance on this project, to help UTSA pave the way for inclusion of public art in future campus expansion projects,” Racca-Sittre added. “This is just the start of what is possible when it comes to incorporating public art in development, and it is an honor to be working hand-in-hand with UTSA to make it happen.”

⇒ Learn more about the UTSA Office of Community Relations.

Since its inception in 2019, the UTSA Westside Community Center has made great strides in building vital partnerships with the San Antonio community in an effort to continue providing educational and economic opportunities.

The center currently serves as a liaison between the university and the community, fostering relationships through the Westside Community Partnerships initiative. The initiative aims to amplify the economic and cultural strengths of the West Side by marshalling the university’s talent and resources to engage in strategic community partnerships.

“This public art opportunity is a clear reflection of UTSA’s vision to foster community and campus engagement,” Leal said.

Ingrid Wright

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of The University of Texas at San Antonio.

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The University of Texas at San Antonio is dedicated to the advancement of knowledge through research and discovery, teaching and learning, community engagement and public service. As an institution of access and excellence, UTSA embraces multicultural traditions and serves as a center for intellectual and creative resources as well as a catalyst for socioeconomic development and the commercialization of intellectual property - for Texas, the nation and the world.

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