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Restored public artwork by local artist Chuck Ramirez is officially unveiled at San Antonio International Airport

Posted 4 years 163 days ago ago by Javier Flores (WHO)


Contact: Javier A. Flores, Department for Culture & Creative Development
Nora Castro, Aviation Department

Restored public artwork by local artist Chuck Ramirez is officially unveiled at San Antonio International Airport
City of San Antonio re-dedicates light box series “Suitcase Portraits”

SAN ANTONIO (September 14, 2015) – The City of San Antonio today announced the completion of the restoration and relocation of a series of photographic light box artworks by the late San Antonio artist Chuck Ramirez (1962-2010) at the San Antonio International Airport. The 11 illuminated photographs entitled “Suitcase Portraits,” depict the sometimes surprising and humorous contents of opened suitcases. 

Ramirez purchased, borrowed and appropriated found objects to fill the suitcases. “Buddha,” for example, contains a portable shrine with flowers, candles and a statue of the Buddha inside a vintage leather suitcase. Photographed in color against plain white backgrounds in ultra-high resolution, the suitcase images and their fanciful contents expose the personalities of their owners.

“Chuck Ramirez’s large-scale photography and sculptural installations demonstrated his keen and witty understanding of the human condition,” said Felix N. Padron, director of the City’s Department for Culture & Creative Development (DCCD). “This series of works is a fitting way to honor his legacy and for San Antonio residents and visitors to continue enjoying his art.” 

This project is a collaboration between DCCD’s Public Art San Antonio (PASA) division and the City’s Aviation Department. The artworks were commissioned by the City and originally installed in 2008 at the airport’s long-term parking garage. The pieces have now been recreated to their original luster and relocated along the lower level of Terminals A and B, greeting travelers as they exit the baggage claim areas. 

“Today we have the opportunity to see Chuck Ramirez’s art work in a new light. Restored and relocated to a more prominent location, where most of the airport’s passengers will be able to enjoy the extraordinary work of one of San Antonio’s favorite artists,” said Aviation Director, Frank R. Miller.

Before his untimely death in 2010, Ramirez showed extensively throughout the United States, Mexico and Europe. The exclusive representative of the Estate of Chuck Ramirez is Ruiz Healy Art. Patricia Ruiz Healy, along with master printmaker Chuck Maurer, served as consultants on the light box restoration project. 

The architecture firm Muñoz & Company was contracted by the City to oversee the recreation of the art glass panels, refurbishment of the light boxes and the relocation of the pieces to a more prominent and architecturally integrated area of the airport. Muñoz & Company engaged the services of Goldray Industries, Ltd., a manufacturer of image enhanced architectural glass, to reproduce the photographic art images with their technographic interlayer process. The photographs were digitally printed on high performance film with a white translucent film applied behind the image, and then laminated between two sheets of architectural glass, thereby creating a more stable and long-lasting installation.a

Public Art San Antonio facilitates a public process for commissioning art of the highest standards which enriches the quality of life and visual environment for all residents and visitors of San Antonio. PASA manages public art projects associated with the City’s capital improvements programs and connects to the community through exhibits, presentations, outreach and planning initiatives. PASA works directly with all City departments and supports local public art efforts of artists, community groups, partnership organizations and outside agencies. 

For more information on the City’s public art program, including a public artworks map, visit 

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Sunday, February 23, 2020