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Arts & Culture

Weekend Magic: Mural Pops Up Monday, Recreates Mission History

Apparently completed in just two days, a large mural at Harlandale High School is getting a lot of attention. There's a story behind the mural, and it starts with this guy.

“My name is David Blancas. I’m a local visual artist and muralist.”

The Principal of Harlandale asked him to create a mural.

“They had a really fantastic, I thought, canvas.”

The mural is in a public reception area at the school and Blancas was asked to create something specific to the history of the south side, where the high school is.

“Considering the history of Mission San Jose being so close to Harlandale, the roots were there.”

The Mission San Jose idea was quickly accepted, but Blancas’ concept of how the mission should look in the mural wasn’t confined by how it looks today.

“All of the local Spanish missions at one time had very vivid, colorful, geometric frescoes, that over time, just eroded or fell off or, you know, nothing lasts forever.”

He met with San Antonio Missions Archeologist Susan Snow. 

“So she gave me some information and I got some historical paintings, of course there was no photography back in the 1700s.”

And he designed a mural showing a far more colorful Mission San Jose.

“I did my best to re-create accurately how it would look when it was just done.”

That mural is elevated off ground level.

“28 feet wide by 20 feet tall, but it is also nine feet off the ground.” 

"After two months of fabrication, we finished installing it this weekend, in two days.”

The whole thing was painted elsewhere on a fabric called polytab and then brought to Harlandale to be hung.

“It goes up over one weekend; come Monday, everybody gets to see it completely done and installed.”

He’s hoping there are more Mission murals to come.