The “Door of Equality”
The “Door of Equality (La Puerta de Igualdad)” was recently installed and is now a permanent addition to the San Antonio public art scene. This is the latest gateway sculpture by the artist Sebastian and is a gift to the City of San Antonio from Fundación Sebastian and Siempre México to commemorate the city's rich civil and human rights history. The sculpture will stand at a monumental 33-feet tall and will be a bright cobalt blue, adding more even more color to the already vibrant downtown skyline.
The “Door of Equality” is located in the center of the San Pedro roundabout, a block north of San Antonio Central Library, which is an award-winning post-modern architectural building designed by renowned Mexican architect, Ricardo Legorreta.
The sculpture symbolizes the infinite struggle for justice with two, tightly wound, geometric pillars that stand side by side. The sculpture will be lit from within, marking the first time the artist incorporates light into his work and giving off a perpetual glow that speaks to the fire and energy surrounding the City’s tenacious history. Set as a gateway between downtown and other areas of the City, the sculpture symbolizes that San Antonio’s door is always open.
“This new welcoming landmark stands for the promise of opportunity that shall never cease to remain open in San Antonio,” said Debbie Racca-Sittre, director, Department of Arts & Culture. “The Door of Equality not only represents our City’s commitment to equity, but also in ensuring that art is accessible to all.”
The torqued twisted steel columns showcase the grind of the work done by human rights champions in San Antonio. These pillars are equal in strength and beauty representing the vision of equality. Each column is royal blue, with the first representing peace, tranquility and wisdom and the second column standing for loyalty, strength, and trust.
“With the current climate we are living in, one where walls are being proposed, I wanted to create a work that speaks to the importance of keeping doors open and being vigilant about true equality,” said Sebastian.
WILDLIFE VIEWING BLINDS PUBLIC ART PROJECT AT HARDBERGER PARK
The Robert L.B. Tobin Land Bridge at Phil Hardberger Park will be the largest land bridge designed for both people and animals in the United States. Located in north central San Antonio, the bridge will unite the east and west sides of the 330-acre Hardberger Park and its 7.5 miles of trails, creating a safe passageway for wildlife above Wurzbach Parkway. The pedestrians and creatures crossing the bridge will have the experience of climbing a hill, unaware of the six lanes of traffic below them. The Land Bridge is scheduled to open in mid-December 2020.
Part of this major project is a public art installation of two wildlife viewing blinds featuring imagery by collaborative San Antonio artists Ashley Mireles and Cade Bradshaw. In addition to being a connection between art and nature, these blinds will serve many purposes, with opportunities to view wildlife from a safe distance as well as the potential for programming focused on art and the outdoors.
The blind designed by Bradshaw is titled "Lightbox" and features elements inspired by the topography and fauna of Phil Hardberger Park. "Innature" by Mireles features the flora of the area.
Both blinds, which are part of Stephen Stimson Studio Landscape Architects’ design for the bridge, will be near a water feature intended to attract wildlife. Additionally, they were created with accessibly, safety, durability and ease-of-maintenance in mind. To learn more about this public art project, read this San Antonio Express-News article.
For more information about the Robert L.B. Tobin Land Bridge and Phil Hardberger Park, please visit philhardbergerpark.org.
comanche lookout park public art project
Comanche Lookout Park is about to feature a new public art project, named "Najo Jām" which means "Our Home" in the Coahuiltecan language Pajalate. This exhibit will include three-stylized and aesthetic benches, a monument, and two oversized planters made from reinforced concrete.
Collaborating artist’s Carlos Cortes and Doroteo Garza artwork is considered pan-Indian—relating to the multiple indigenous tribes that lay claim to this land. The artwork is representative of peyotism, part of indigenous religious ceremonies—according to legend where the deer steps peyote cacti grow. This installation, with use of symbolism creates a sense of welcoming and homecoming; along with honoring history and culture and paying tribute to the land on which it is built.
Once ready for the public to enjoy, the site will become representative of a welcoming space inviting interaction and respite after a long hike throughout the parks walking trails. The art installation is scheduled for completion before the end of 2020.
You can get a sneak peak of this exhibit by visiting the River Walk Public Art Garden in downtown where the first piece in this series is currently on display. Click here to learn more.
The Department of Arts & Culture has been working closely with the Parks & Rec Department to enhance local parks and greenways with public art. The Linear Creekway System Strategy goal is to increase neighborhood connectivity, create a visual identity for the Linear Creeks, and to place more art on Greenway Trails.
One of those public art projects within the Linear Creekways System Strategy is to expland the "Bloom" series by San Antonio artist Leticia Huerta. Given the positive reception of the original installation at Mud Creek in McAllister Park, the strategy for growing the series to a system-wide concept was presented and approved by the city’s Public Art Committee and San Antonio Arts Commission in June 2019.
The sculptures are series a wildflowers created from elements that up close resemble larger-than-life bicycle parts. The artwork takes inspiration from trail users and the native wildflowers nearby. The surrounding area has been shaped by years of flooding which has created a rough terrain ideal for hikers and mountain bikers. Silver rings are placed on the flower stems to indicate various flood level at each site.
Upcoming “Bloom” Installation Dates
1. River Walk Public Art Garden - Spring 2021
2. Apache Creek / Brazos Pocket Park - Spring 2021
3. Salado Creek / Eisenhower Park - Spring 2021
4. Southside Lions - Fall 2021
5. Alazan Creek / Farias Park - Spring 2022
6. Tezel Road Facility - Summer 2022