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See The New SAWS-Briscoe Mural Celebrating San Antonio Water History

The newest River Walk tile mural was unveiled on Tuesday morning and it celebrates the story of water in San Antonio.

"Contrary to popular belief, oil isn’t the lifeblood of this city, it’s water," said Briscoe Western Art Museum’s Executive Director Steven Karr. "So it’s an important story to tell."  

To tell that story, the Briscoe collaborated with San Antonio Water Systems and artists from Dunis Studios and decided to continue a long-standing San Antonio tradition of creating and installing large tile murals along the River Walk.

Tile mural expert and Author Susan Toomey Frost provided some contextual appreciation of the modern-day mural through the lens of River Walk mural history.

"All of the elements of it are very true to that tradition -- the border, the colors, the subject matter," Frost said. 

The subject matter is a chronologically-arranged history of the San Antonio River, told in a style as reflected in other River Walk tile murals. This one shows the river from its earliest uses by American Indian residents all the way through the modern day.

"It has all been updated and it’s fabulous" said Frost.

Tuesday morning in a blustery wind a couple of dozen stakeholders and media went into the McNutt Courtyard and with much fanfare pulled the covering off the impressive mural.

"It’s absolutely gorgeous," Frost said.

In the additional 1891 picture, the prolific geyser-like image is one that's just yards away from where the new mural is mounted, at SAWS’ downtown pump station. That geyser is also depicted in the mural.

Jack Morgan can be reached at jack@tpr.org and on Twitter at @JackMorganii