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San Antonio Dedicates 'Four Seasons' Murals For World Heritage Area

The American Indians in Texas at the Spanish Colonial Missions helped dedicate four new murals painted on the overpass support structure of Loop 410 at Villamain Road, not far from Mission Espada.

With public input, each artist was asked to paint a season, featuring the plants and animals native to San Antonio. 

"The first one is summer, which is the Nopal and the black bear, and that was done by Joe [De La Cruz]," artist Albert Garza describes. "The second one is by Chris Montoya. He had the deer and the mesquite tree. And Cristina [Sosa Noriega] had winter, which was the pecan and the mountain lion. And I had spring, which was the yucca plant and the water bird."

Bears and mountain lions once roamed the area. Artist Cristina Sosa Noriega has familial skin in the game for her choice.

"I said please I need to have the pecan because personally, my grandmother was a pecan sheller in the 20s. I remember as a little girl collecting pecans and we would sell them. It's just always been a part of my life," she says.

These murals have both a tourism and a neighborhood function.

"This is a nice visual cue that you're within the World Heritage Area," says Colleen Swain, director of the World Heritage Office for the city of San Antonio. The ongoing effort to define the World Heritage area through art continues with another massive installation beneath I-10 in a several block area.  

"There's about a hundred pillars, and so they are collecting stories from the community, that they can then visually represent on those pillars," Swain says.

The city estimates that the project will be complete next year in time for San Antonio's Tricentennialcelebrations. 

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