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San Anto Cultural Arts Students Build Giant Paleta Bike Rack

San Anto Cultural Arts

Fifteen young artists studying at the SanAntoCultural Arts Center are working on their first public art sculpture, thanks to a grant from Awesome S-A.

The students thought of an artistic way to meet the ongoing need for bike storage at the center. 

San Anto Cultural Arts Executive Director, Harvey Mireles, says they have been hard at work since January, learning 3-D design, metal fabrication, welding and painting, to create something beautiful and functional. Mireles says students kicked around several ideas before settling on one whimsical design.

“Some kids came up with a worm. Some kids came up with a comb. And then they said, ‘You know what, we’re in the Westside here and the paleta man goes up and down here every day. And this is about bicycling, so why don’t we create a paleta bicycle rack?’”

Last November, San Anto received a $1,000 grant from Awesome SA to create a public art project. Awesome SA is part of the Awesome Foundation, created in Boston to award monthly grants to local projects. Ten donors contribute $100 each month toward the awards. 

Mireles says the paleta is surprisingly large.

“It looks as if you had a paleta in your hand and you dropped it and it lands at an angle, head first. So the stick is up in the air. It’s about 11 feet tall,” he says. 

Local artist Casey Cooper helped with the instruction and offering his studio space for the students to work on the project.  The students will present their "Amazing Paleta Bike Rack" Saturday morning with a ribbon-cutting ceremony, special edition paleta T-shirts for sale – and of course, paletas.

Eileen Pace is a veteran radio and print journalist with a long history of investigative and feature reporting in San Antonio and Houston, earning more than 50 awards for investigative reporting, documentaries, long-form series, features, sports stories, outstanding anchoring and best use of sound.