San Antonio | The Saga

Submitted by Main Plaza Conservancy

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Client: Main Plaza Conservancy

Location: San Antonio, TX, United States

Completion date: 2014

Artwork budget: $1,000,000

Project Team

Public Art Agent

Jane Pauley-Flores

Main Plaza Conservancy

Artist

Xavier de Richemont

Liturgical Consultant

Archbishop Gustavo Garcia-Siller

Public Art Agent

William Scanlan, Jr.

MPC Chairman of the Board

Public Art Agent

Gini Garcia

MPC Director

Industry Resource

Emilio Flores, Sr.

Project Manager

Public Art Agent

City of San Antonio

Public Art Agent

Bexar County

Client

Archdiocese of San Antonio

Overview

Main Plaza Conservancy, (www.mainplaza.org) a 501(c)(3)non-profit organization, is dedicated to providing San Antonio and its visitors with the cultural and historical “heart of the city™”. Downtown San Antonio for the last 10 years has been rapidly progressing. Main Plaza Conservancy has jumped on board with the revitalization of beautiful downtown specifically designating Main Plaza as a must see destination. Main Plaza is the very core of the City and what a better way to expand understanding of San Antonio's history, heritage, and culture than by featuring a state of the art visual showcase on the façade of San Fernando Cathedral.

Goals

On June 13, 2014, Main Plaza Conservancy debuted “San Antonio | The Saga", a captivating video art installation on the magnificent façade of San Fernando Cathedral. Created by renowned French Artist, Xavier de Richemont, this 7,000-sq.-ft. projection with custom choreographed music in stereo sound narrates the historical discovery, settlement and development of San Antonio. Now the seventh-largest city in the nation, San Antonio is a pivotal location in the story and identity of the United States and North America.
This 24-minute journey is renowned painter and video artist Xavier de Richemont’s first outdoor video art installation in the United States. Originally built between 1738 and 1755, San Fernando Cathedral is the oldest operating sanctuary in North America. It sits in Main Plaza, the heart of historic San Antonio. Main Plaza is the ideal location for this story to be told as it is one of only four colonial plazas left in the United States, and the only one with a cathedral.
For the next 10 years, this breathtaking artistic representation will be a recurring event on Main Plaza that visitors and residents alike can experience. Most importantly, this event is free and open to the public.

Process

There were several obstacles in creating San Antonio | The Saga. The first was to have approval of the City of San Antonio, County of Bexar and Archdiocese of San Antonio in charge of San Fernando Cathedral. The cathedral was to be Main Plaza Conservancy's "canvas" for these historical images. The Archbishop required approval of the content of the projection, including music. This was not an easy feat as the artist lives in Paris, France. Several groups were formed to determine the historical content for accuracy, appropriateness of the visuals, and someone to take notes and distribute for comment and accuracy, communicate with the artist, prepare meetings and schedule viewings throughout the process. After much discussion, many changes, deletions and additions the video and music content was approved by the Archbishop. This, became the final product that is now seen as a form fitting, custom mapped, video with Texas music and performances by locally renown artists to include Donovan, Flaco Jimenez and Tish Hinojosa to name a few.

Additional Information

Archbishop Gustavo Garcia-Siller: “We are very enthusiastic about our involvement in this project with the Main Plaza Conservancy.” Marise McDermott, President & CEO Witte Museum: “This is more astonishing than I imagined. To change the tenor, shape and reality of the façade is amazing. To challenge the understanding of an iconic cathedral into a universe of art is breathtaking.” Jane Pauley-Flores, Executive Director of Main Plaza Conservancy: “San Antonio|The Saga,” is going to command attention and welcome the world to visit and experience a historic San Antonio destination, Main Plaza.”