San Antonio artists instigate downtown development

By Dennis M. Ayotte Jr.
La Prensa de San Antonio

SAN ANTONIO — Last October, Councilman Diego Bernal and the city announced a call for artists to create installation in abandon storefronts downtown in order to help liven up San Antonio’s paltry downtown.

Now dubbed, “X Marks the Art” the goal is still to give downtown a better more welcoming look that is creative and dynamic. For some cities in America, downtown in the lifeline of the town, but in San Antonio it is mostly reserved for the homeless and tourist.

In addition, many of those who work downtown never stay longer than they need a flock back to their homes on the rim of the hill country.

This latest effort to bring the locals back to the heart of the city has produced 15 artistic installations by 22 artists across 14 vacant properties downtown.

“The most effective form of marketing is word of mouth. If we can do this in enough places and it really creates a really different or improved downtown experience whether you’re just passing through, you’re there for dinner or even if you’re there for business in the evening,” Bernal told La Prensa at the start of the project.

Each installation, from Jenelle Esparza’s “Us and Them” which contains large-scale printed images of palm prints, accompanied by philosophical quotes to Zane Carroll’s that is a response to his experience as a US Soldier, is completely unique.

Another installation by Robert B. Gonzales, a hybrid of infographics and art, uses famous quotes of and about legends and gives them a graphic subversion.

“History is made up of hearsay, tall tales and legends. No state embodies this more than Texas and no other Texas city more than San Antonio.” Gonzales said…

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