Client: City of San Antonio
Location: San Antonio, TX, United States
Completion date: 2013
Artwork budget: $173,620
Public Art San Antonio
This project reveals the artist's belief that in public art, an awareness and understanding of the site, budget, and project timeline provides a framework for the design concept and consideration of materials. Additionally, he defines the purpose of public art as: to attract one's attention and provoke thought by: RESPECTING the site's space enough for it to reveal itself, and the participant viewer enough to allow him/her to discern it. REWARDING the participant viewer's close looking and careful thinking. In doing so, whether by walking, jogging, biking over, or driving through the viewer experiences a presence of self in space.
After he was commissioned for this project, the direction given was to design a unique piece that reflected the identity of the area. The artist designs took the already planned streetscape infrastructure and used it as his medium. He researched the Jones-Maltsberger family history and discovered its double-heart cattle brand, which became the basis for 56 sidewalk modules, 6 formed concrete medians, and 13 metal handrails. Other elements include retaining walls of 2-color integral concrete that suggest the pattern of flowing water, colors for ADA ramps, and integral colored concrete and painted metal guardrails for the bridge.
This project was accomplished through the collaboration of the Civil Engineer (HNTB), the artist and the suburban neighborhood. Initially, the local community expressed enormous hostility toward the project, as they did not want their neighborhood changed, especially to include public art on the street. Through a series of small meetings of community leaders organized by Public Art San Antonio and City Council District Office, the most vocal critics of the project became its most ardent supporters.
To connect the artist's work to the local environment, he photographed the neighborhoods bordering the project to determine the colors to use. Through his intensive research, the community's response to the project was turned from full opposition to total embracing and grand applause.