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San Fernando Public Art Project Seeking County Funds

The San Fernando Cathedral in downtown San Antonio was founded in 1731 and is the oldest continually functioning religious community in Texas.
Ryan Loyd | Texas Public Radio
TPR News
San Fernando Cathedral.

The Main Plaza Conservancy is asking Bexar County to contribute to the funding for a visual art exhibit coming to the San Fernando Cathedral.

Officials hope the artwork will become a national attraction, and have gone to Bexar County commissioners to ask for their support of the project's ongoing maintenance.

Father David Garcia is the director of the Old Spanish Missions, but it was in his additional capacity as a board member of the Main Plaza Conservancy that he went to commissioners to seek support for a new public art project on the plaza.

"This is a spectacular project that has never been done in the United States," David said. "We're using the cathedral facade as a palette for a saga as we tell the story of our community from the very beginning; from pre-indigenous times all the way to today."

Garcia said the conservancy started working on the project after the board chair of the conservancy saw a similar art exhibit on the cathedral in San Luis Potosi. The board sought out French artist Xavier de Richemontand began putting together the funds.

Now, the $800,000 artwork, which is funded by donors, is about to debut on the front wall of the San Fernando Cathedral in June. Gini Garcia with the conservancy said the group is working with the city and expects the project to become an added value for San Antonio tourists.

"We have a 30-second commercial that Time Warner put together. We also have a partnership with Univision and they're going to be doing a live feed in Spanish and different things for us," she said.

David is asking the county to contribute $25,000 for the project’s future maintenance so the film can continue to be shown for the next five to ten years.

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.