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New mural at UTSA's National Security Collaboration Center 'brings order to chaos'

The mural 'Discovery Enterprise'
Courtesy photo
Erin E. Albrecht
The mural 'Discovery Enterprise'

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Downtown San Antonio just got another colorful tile mural called "Discovery Enterprise." The 58-foot by 10-foot mural wraps around the corner of UTSA’s new San Pedro I building downtown, home of the National Security Collaboration Center.

The mural is quirky and looks like the future… as conceived in the 1950s. Artist Mark Hogensen agreed.

“Some of the thought behind it was exactly that — kind of mapping out where we've been and where we may be going and tying in with the idea of the building and discovery,” he explained.

That building is on the east bank of the San Pedro Creek Culture Park, and the mural is one of several new art installations around the building.

Artist Mark Hogensen stands before Discovery Enterprise
Jack Morgan
Artist Mark Hogensen stands in front of the mural 'Discovery Enterprise.'

Hogensen originally created the large mural on a scale of 1” to 1’ and then sent an electronic file of it to Tile Artisans, a Florida based tile printing business, for production. J&R Tile’s Erin Albrecht helped install them.

“He takes the digital version, and we give him the dimensions of the space, and he actually will print the tiles out. These are 12 inch by 12 inch tiles,” she said. Albrecht noted that the heat wave has challenged them.

“We had to switch adhesives and move to night work because it's been so hot downtown with the heat — and the ambient temperature is what's important,” he explained.

The piece itself features colorful geometric designs and other elements all overlapping one another. It has an almost chaotic vibe, but the way the elements come together, Hogensen said that chaos is carefully controlled.

artist representation when the mural's complete
Courtesy photo
Mark Hogensen
The mural 'Discovery Enterprise'

“We live in a world that's full of chaos, but there's an underlying order and consistency to some things,” he said.

UTSA’s Security Center’s educational work is a bulwark against that chaos.

The mural is nearly done, and installers are working overnights to beat the heat.

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