West Side Murals

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Since 1994, San Anto Cultural Arts program has identified, trained and mobilized local artists, both young and old, to create large-scale murals that enliven and help educate the city’s urban core. Docent-led or self-guided tours bring the stories, hopes and dreams of the area’s residents to life. The importance of education, familia and Chicano/Chicana culture are on vivid display.

If you don’t have time to tour all 50 murals, here are five you should definitely check out:

  1. Educación (1994), 2121 Guadalupe at South Chupaderas
  2. 8 Stages of the Life of a Chicana (1995), 1303 Tampico at Trinity
  3. Mano a Mano (1999), 1927 West Commerce at North Pinto
  4. Piedad (2003), 1204 Buena Vista at Colorado
  5. Líderes de la Comunidad (2006), 1204 Buena Vista at Colorado

My favorite is the “8 stages of the Life of a Chicana” by Jerry and Cardee Garcia. As the title indicates, the mural walks you through the stages of a woman’s life. The LOVE stage reads: “The moment I saw him…an Aztec “knight in shining armor” waiting to rescue me from a life without love with just a kiss from his cinnamon tinted lips.” Followed by the CARE stage: “Sacrificar para la familia, su esposo y sus hijos. Siempre son primero y no se quejarse porque esta viviente una vida cariñoso.” (Sacrifice for the family, your spouse and your children. They always are first, and you don’t complain because you are living a life of love.)

San Anto Cultural Arts program, which also publishes El Placazo community newspaper, is located at 2120 El Paso. Throughout the year, they organize various events, such as the Dia De Los Muertos Barrio Procession, a summer photography workshop, scholarship and financial aid workshops, teen mentoring, and safe sex/abstinence seminars. For more information, call (210) 226-7466 and ask for Pablo Martinez, the executive director.

For even more ideas of fun things to do and see in San Antonio, visit Barnes & Noble, The Twig, Whole Foods, Half Price Books on Broadway, Costco, Sam’s and Hudson News to purchase “100 Things To Do in San Antonio Before You Die” by yours truly. ¡Viva San Antonio!

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