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San Anto's Mural Milestone

To hear KeliKubonoc talk about it, you'd think she was talking about an arts high school.

"We're proud that a lot of our alumni have gone on to the Pratt School of Design in New York, the Art Institute of Chicago. We've got quite a few UTSA graduates."

But she's talking about San Anto Cultural Arts, the non-profit that encourages area kids to explore their artistic side at their El Paso Street studio. While they instruct in a variety of media, they specialize in one.

"We paint murals here on the West Side, and we're happy to be celebrating our 50th mural this weekend, Saturday, Sept. 24th from 4 to 9, with our blessing and unveiling right at 5:15," Kubonoc says.

That mural is a big one, and by her reckoning, a special one.

"It spans the whole block, so it starts at the Guadalupe Cultural Arts building right after El Paso and it expands all the way down to San Fernando. Manny, may he rest in peace, was not an artist, he was a drummer. But he was an arts activist," Kubonoc says.

Manny Castillo was one of the founders of San Anto Cultural Arts and his image looms large on the new mural.   

"And he's sort of inviting the community to be a part of the world of art that we've created," she says.

You can be a part of that world on Saturday as they close down the streets for a mural blessing, then a free pachanga, complete with several bands, and of course, eats. 

"We'll be having some food vendors and art vendors. We'll have both vegan and vegetarian and some barbecue options, so please do join us," she says.

And there's another interesting angle to the evening.

"We'll be pulling out our steamroll press and that's how we make our giant prints, and we'll be giving those away for free. There'll be a raffle, and other workshops for young children," she says.

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