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Arts & Culture

Hemisfair Takes An Artful Step Forward With Yanaguana Garden

Rendering of Yanaguana Garden.

Hemisfair was first created for the 1968 World’s Fair. City governments have tried re-development through the years, but the area’s potential has never been realized. That endeavor is now being overseen by the Hemisfair Park Area Redevelopment Corporation, by city mandate.

While that huge overall Hemisfair project is in its early stages, something happened last week that will propel it forward.

“We now have some great concepts in place and are now moving the concepts into final design," said Jimmy LeFlore, public art manager for the city of San Antonio.

While that larger redevelopment project still has another six years in construction, a small part of it has made a significant move. The artists have been chosen whose works will breathe artful life into the 4-acre Yanaguana Garden area.

“Yanaguana Garden is going to be the play environment for Hemisfair," LeFlore said. "It’s the first of the re-development to go through the design and construction phase.”

Artist Stuart Allen will create an installation, and also manage the work of the seven other artists who have been chosen to contribute to Yanaguana.

“He (Allen) is going to create a kite table that has directions etched into the kite table,” LeFlore said.

The interactive installation will mean you can go to Hemisfair with your kids, make a kite, and fly it right there.

“Justin Boyd is doing a sound sculpture located along a promenade where there’s significant trees, and the sound will be coming from trees,” LeFlore said.

The installations have been designed holistically to overlap slightly, and to draw people from one to the next.

“It’s almost like a scavenger hunt,” LeFlore said.

I asked if he had specifics on when things will really start happening.

“Hemisfair’s goal is to have the park, in terms of phase one, completed in the spring of 2015," LeFlore said. "[We] hope to have an opening probably late spring, April/May.”