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 new 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.
On December 11, 2021, San Pedro Creek Culture Park unveiled its sixth temporary installation, titled Babbling. Visitors to the park discovered a variety of vibrant, whimsical sculptures designed by San Antonio-based artist Justice David Gutierrez as a part of the annual event, Illume: Making Spirits Bright. The temporary installation, made of hundreds of acrylic spheres, was located beneath the street bridges and in the creek channel between Santa Rosa and Travis Streets. These sculptures remained “dormant” during the daytime while visually standing out against the natural environment. When the sun went down, these sculptures “woke up” and illuminated with color-changing LED lights. San Antonio-based musician Alberto Vasquez also composed a multicultural musical score to accompany the dazzling light show. The installation was on view through January 3, 2022.
The artwork Babbling at the Salinas Boardwalk.
The second night of Illume: Making Spirits Bright, welcomed visitors back to the park to enjoy local food trucks, holiday lights, a festive photo booth, and a special film screening, courtesy of Slab Cinema. The film included a short documentary about the temporary installation, highlights from our virtual programming catalog, and clips from last year’s all-virtual event. For those who could not attend in person, a virtual option aired that same night on social media so community members could join in the celebrations from the comforts of their homes. A short documentary about Babbling and the full-length feature video of Illume: Making Spirits Bright can be viewed on our YouTube channel here.
Image from the Illume: Making Spirits Bright photo booth
Celebrating San Antonio’s vibrant and diverse culture is a vital element of the River Authority’s annual holiday event. These artworks and many others help fulfill the crucial enjoyable factor of the River Authority’s mission in committing to safe, clean, and enjoyable creeks and rivers.
Artist Justice David Gutierrez installs his artwork under Santa Rosa St.
In the next issue of our Creative Currents series…
2022 will be an exciting year for San Pedro Creek Culture Park! Three new public art projects will be installed, and the completed Phase 1 will be celebrated in the fall. Phase 1, Segment 1 will see the addition of Creek Lines, a specially-commissioned artwork by local firm Bridge Projects that celebrates the 300th anniversary of Bexar County.
Phase 1, Segment 2 will include a new tile mural by local artists Kathy and Lionel Sosa and the park’s first interactive project by Brooklyn-based artist Adam Frank.
Keep up with these projects at https://spcculturepark.com/about/art/.