Estimated Read Time: 4 Minutes
Welcome to the quarterly Creative Currents series! Public art, cultural programming, and artistic design enhancements express what is authentic about today’s culture and explore the historical significance of area waterways through a contemporary art lens. This series provides an inside look at the many ways artists are incorporated into the San Antonio River Authority (River Authority) projects, including the growing San Pedro Creek Culture Park.
The River Authority and Bexar County recently celebrated the completion of Phase 1 of San Pedro Creek Culture Park on October 14-15, 2022. The weekend celebrations welcomed this new chapter in downtown San Antonio while celebrating the culture, art, and nature of San Pedro Creek with guided historical tours, live music, artist panels, book talks, and many other activities for all ages. In today’s blog, we share photos from the celebrations and information about upcoming projects!
Yoga class under the Creek Lines sculpture provided by Union Fitness.
An attendee views an exhibition arranged by the architects, designers, and engineers behind the San Pedro Creek Culture Park project.
Performers from the Guadalupe Cultural Arts Center
The Tehaun Mission Indians Healing to Music blessing.
The history of the St. James A.M.E. Church was celebrated through worship, music, and speeches.
New Artworks of San Pedro Creek Culture Park
STREAM | Artist: Adam Frank
As part of the weekend’s celebrations, STREAM received a dedication in the form of a lighting ceremony on Friday, October 14. The lighting ceremony was preceded by speeches from Bexar County’s Judge Nelson Wolff, River Authority representatives, and public officials. As the judge counted down with the help of the excited crowd, the illuminated waterfall began cascading, which set the stage for a performance from the artists of Urban-15.
Bexar County Judge Nelson Wolff
Performers from Urban-15 dance in front of STREAM.
STREAM merges the music of San Antonio with the flow of San Pedro Creek. When a sound is made into the microphone sculpture, it becomes visualized as animated light along a 250-foot waterfall in real-time. While the sculpture is dormant, the lights are activated by the broadcast signal from Texas Public Radio (TPR), located across the creek from the sculpture.
The bronze microphone sculpture is made to look like a 1950s-era microphone—similar to the ones you might have seen at the nearby Alameda Theater. Inside the sculpture is a live microphone that is connected to a custom hardware and software system designed by Adam Frank, which translates the sound into a colorful light display.
An attendee activates the lights of STREAM through the microphone.
La Gloriosa Historia de San Pedro Creek On My Mind: A Story in Five Episodes
Artists: Kathy and Lionel Sosa
Kathy and Lionel Sosa created a large-scale mural for the San Pedro Creek Culture Park to tell the story of San Pedro Creek in five episodes using the Tree of Life/Árbol de la Vida. They teamed together with esteemed scholars, educators, and cultural advisors that included Ellen Riojas Clark, John Phillip Santos, Jennifer Speed, Carey Latimore, Melinda Iruegas, Sergio Iruegas, and Char Miller. The episodes selected are sequential, though not chronologically distinct. One of the beauties of the Tree of Life platform is how it communicates using iconography and symbolism, allowing each viewer to be engaged in following the clues and exploring the story in their own way. Foreground figures in the mural help emphasize the creek as home to diverse groups of people and will soon come to life through a virtual reality component.
San Pedro Creek Culture Park Artist Panel
One of the highlights during the weekend of celebration was an artist panel moderated by Krystal Jones, Director of the City of San Antonio Department of Arts and Culture. The panel featured Adam Frank, Cade Bradshaw, Stuart Allen, Diana Kersey, Joe Lopez, Kathy and Lionel Sosa, Alex Rubio, and John Phillip Santos, all of whom have contributed their incredible artistic skill to tell the story and enhance the beauty of the San Pedro Creek. The artists talked about their personal connections to the creek, how those connections have changed since the completion of their work, how they used the creek as inspiration, and how they collaborated with each other to strengthen the storytelling in their pieces.
Artists with former San Antonio River Authority Public Art Curator Carrie Brown.
Coming Soon…Temporary Art Installations
Two exciting new murals are in the works and set to be installed along the pedestrian pathways located near the historic Alameda Theatre and the archeological site of the St. James African Methodist Episcopal Church. The Art of Four, an esteemed local arts initiative, has assembled a team of artists to create and install two temporary murals celebrating San Antonio’s history, diversity, and contemporary culture along the creek. The Art of Four’s mission is to promote established, emerging, and aspiring Black artists and provide a platform to display, express, preserve, and promote their work to a broader audience.
The team will first paint their designs on a durable mural fabric in their local studio space. Once completed, each painting will directly adhere to concrete walls adjacent to the creek’s lower paseos under Travis and Houston Streets. The pieces will be installed in Spring 2023 and will remain on display for one to two years.
The River Reach is back!
River Reach is a quarterly, 12-page newsletter that is designed to inform the San Antonio River Authority’s constituents about the agency’s many projects, serve as a communication vehicle for the board of directors and foster a sense of unity and identity among the residents of Bexar, Wilson, Karnes, and Goliad counties.
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