Thursday, January 4, 2024

New murals by local artists to be installed at San Pedro I

New murals by local artists to be installed at San Pedro I

MAY 4, 2023 — Murals designed by two San Antonio artists will soon adorn UTSA’s San Pedro I building, located at 506 Dolorosa St. just east of San Pedro Creek. The public art project is part of an ongoing partnership between the university and the City of San Antonio to promote San Antonians’ quality of life by enhancing the downtown area.

Cristina Sosa Noriega and Mark Hogensen, M.F.A. ’90 were selected earlier this year to develop the murals, which use bold color palettes in their interpretations of San Antonio’s past, present and future. The murals are designed to inspire students, faculty, staff and visitors.

“UTSA’s vision for growth in downtown San Antonio includes important connections to culture and art in our buildings,” said Veronica Salazar, UTSA chief financial officer and senior vice president for business affairs. “The murals by Cristina and Mark will create beautiful new spaces at San Pedro I that will become a cultural destination for San Antonians and visitors alike.”

“San Antonio and UTSA are committed to working together to preserve the culture of our community.”

Cristina Sosa Noriega specializes in portraits and murals.

Noriega will install the first of the two murals on San Pedro I’s west façade. A specialist in portraits, murals and public art, her mural will speak to San Pedro Creek’s past and its ties to the future.

Noriega has created several art projects in San Antonio and South Texas. She is best known for her “My Loteria” series of 54 oil paintings, in which she re-created the images and symbols of the classic Mexican Loteria with the Tex-Mex symbols from her childhood. She is also the artist behind the winter-themed mural at the Southwest Loop 410 underpass at Villamain Rd., one of a series of four murals commissioned through the City of San Antonio’s Public Art Program.

Last summer, Noriega painted the mural of Amerie Jo Garza, a student who was lost in the mass shooting at Robb Elementary, as part of the Healing Uvalde Mural Project.

Hogensen’s mural will wrap around the northeast corner of San Pedro I, facing Dolorosa St. Its imagery will focus on San Pedro Creek’s recent past.

Mark Hogensen combines irregular shapes and illusory form in his pieces.

A retired art professor from Palo Alto College, Hogensen employs heightened perspective and a bold palette, combining irregular shape and illusory form to create abstractions that appear to jump off the wall. Drawing parallels to architecture and landscape, his imagery evokes a sense of movement, encouraging the viewer to traverse pseudo-geometrical forms and drift amidst bulbous shapes. His art simultaneously draws on his background in architecture and construction.

UTSA worked closely with the City of San Antonio’s Department of Arts & Culture to advance its public art mural project. The project began with a community engagement process that enabled the university and its partners to collaboratively define its scope, establish storytelling themes for the murals and issue an invitation for artists to submit their ideas. Centro San Antonio and the San Antonio River Authority were central to these discussions.

The university wanted the art to be educational, interpretive or tell a story focused on discovery, collaboration, new knowledge and science, a reflection of the programs housed in San Pedro I.

Members of the local community reviewed the concepts submitted by the artists prior to the final determination, which was made by five local judges.

“We enjoyed working alongside UTSA on the process to develop public art as part of the institution’s downtown presence,” said Krystal Jones, director of the City of San Antonio Department of Arts and Culture. “UTSA’s dedication to involving the community is a great example of how public art can be incorporated into development in a thoughtful and intentional way.”

Noriega’s artwork is near completion and will be installed over several days, beginning on May 5. Hogensen’s mural will be installed later in the year.

“San Antonio and UTSA are committed to working together to preserve the culture of our community,” said Teresa Niño, UTSA vice president for university relations. “These new murals will be valuable additions that enhance our city and make it a beautiful place to live, learn, work and play.”

Learn more about San Pedro I and San Pedro II, an expansion of UTSA’s Downtown Campus footprint.
Read about Drum Rhythm No. 11 by Fletcher C. Benton installed at the northwest side of San Pedro I.

San Pedro I is the latest project in UTSA’s Downtown Campus expansion. The $91.8 million, 167,000-square-foot, six-story structure sits east of the Downtown Campus, anchoring UTSA to San Antonio’s urban core.

San Pedro II, UTSA’s twin building for the west side of the creek, is expected to break ground later this year.

Christi Fish

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of The University of Texas at San Antonio.

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