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Fronteras: Puro San Antonio Artists Capture Their Community Through Prints, Paintings And Murals

The works of two San Antonio-area artists are elevated to a national stage by the Smithsonian American Art Museum in Washington, D.C.

Texas Public Radio’s Dominic Anthony and Jack Morgan profile the iconic artists and their lasting legacies.


Credit Dominic Anthony / Texas Public Radio
King de la Wirira (King of the Weed Eater), 2018.

Juan De Dios Mora's Prints Capture Pride, Culture Of Latino Community

Juan de Dios Mora’s work captures the intersection of Mexican, European and American cultures. The artist and educator creates detailed prints that have, until recently, mostly celebrated those who live at the southern border.

But in an upcoming political series, Mora shifts his focus from the community that lives on the border, to the people who patrol it. 

His work is monochromatic, but detailed. Each piece features many small symbols of perseverance and resilience. The works acquired by the Smithsonian are also humorous, capturing the sometimes surreal intersection of cultures at the border. 

Five of Mora’s pieces will be part of an exhibition called “Printing the Revolution,” which celebrates Chicano artsits who drew inspiration during the  civil rights, labor, anti-war, feminist and LGBTQ+ movements of the 1960s.

He’s also working on a less celebratory, more cynical series. It comments on political and social issues at the border, from border patrol’s crackdown on immigration, to gun violence caused by cartels and fueled by lax gun laws in the states. 


Credit Jack Morgan / Texas Public Radio
Jesse Treviño in front of La Veladora at the Guadalupe Cultural Arts.

How Jesse Treviño Created So Much Of San Antonio's Public Art

Jesse Treviño is one of San Antonio's greatest artists. For decades, he's celebrated everyday life on the city's West Side with photorealistic paintings and murals. He found his calling early, and by age 18 he was studying in a premier New York City art school, training for a long and successful career. But the unexpected journey Treviño endured, from young artist to the celebrated status he enjoys today, was darker and more difficult than anyone could have imagined.

Dominic Anthony can be reached at dominic@tpr.org and on Twitter @_DominicAnthony
Norma Martinez can be reached at norma@tpr.org and on Twitter @NormDog1
Lauren Terrazas can be reached at lauren@tpr.org and on Twitter @terrazas_lauren

Norma Martinez can be reached at norma@tpr.org and on Twitter at @NormDog1
Lauren Terrazas can be reached at lauren@tpr.org and on Twitter at @terrazas_lauren