© 2022 Texas Public Radio
Real. Reliable. Texas Public Radio.
Play Live Radio
Next Up:
Available On Air Stations

'World's First' Solar Panel Mural Revealed

A solar panel went up in downtown San Antonio on Friday, and it's one that's unlike any other.

"This is an excellent example of combining art and technology, art and science,” said Penny Boyer of the Land Heritage Institute, a 1,200-acre nature preserve that promotes land stewardship and renewable energy. “This is the world's first solar mural installation."

The mural is actually comprised of four panels combined to form a 6 and one-half feet by 13-foot solar panel mural. Artist Cruz Ortiz created a Monarch Butterfly, labeling it La Monarca — Spanish for the monarch — and appearing much like a large Loteria card. There's also a 24 in the upper left.

"The 24 indicates the 24 actions that our city has agreed to take on to become the first monarch butterfly champion city as designated by the National Wildlife Federation," she said.

The Land Art Generator Initiative's Robert Ferry says right now we're on the cusp of major energy change.

"I think we have an opportunity now in the 21st century to leave a cultural mark and a legacy for this important time in history as we make the transition from fossil fuels to renewable energy infrastructure,” he said. “People will look back 100 years from now and see these great artworks that are still working and powering their cities and reflect on that."

La Monarca will be moved before long to the still being developed EPIcenter, where it will be located next to the pollinator garden being created there.

According to spokesperson Kelly Morris, La Monarca cost between $5000-$6000.

Find more on the city’s 24 Actions here.

Find more on the Land Heritage Institute here.

Find more on artist Cruz Ortiz here.

Find more on the Land Art Generator Initiative here.

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