Sunday afternoon I took a break from putting away Christmas decorations to go on a driving tour of outdoor murals in Westside San Antonio. My daughter worked the GPS and the CD player. We looked at 13 murals and stopped for food midway at the Malt House. I plotted the mural locations on a Google map which you can view here: Westside Murals . The source of the information about the murals was the City of San Antonio’s Office of Cultural Affairs website.
“La Musica” was painted in 2009 through San Anto Cultural Arts’ Community Mural Public Art Program. The mural honors eight San Antonio musicians: Randy Garibay, Rocky Morales, Clifford Scott, Felix Villarreal, Manuel “Manny” Castillo, Eva Garza, Doug Sahm, Lydia Mendoza, and Valerio Longoria. The lead muralist was David Blancas.
“You Are Not Forgotten” was painted in 2006 by Mike Roman. The mural is dedicated to Mr. Roman’s brother.
“Lideres de la Comunidad (Leaders in the Community)” was painted in 2006 by Valerie Aranda. People pictured in the mural include Rudy “Diamond” Garcia, Emma Tenayuca, and Trinidad Sanchez, Jr. La Gloria refers to a gas station/dance hall that was demolished in 2002.
According to the Office of Cultural Affairs website, “Mano a Mano“, a San Anto Cultural Arts mural, was commissioned by People En Español Magazine for the Association of Hispanic Advertising Agencies annual conference in 1999. The lead artists were Juan Miguel Ramos, Mike Roman and Janette Torres.
“Piedad” was created in 2003 by Ruth Buentello. The mural depicts the crucifixion of Jesus Christ in a contemporary setting.
“Brighter Days” was painted in 2007 by Adriana Maria Garcia. I love the colors on this mural. The mural is located at a mental health clinic operated by The Center for Health Care Services. The mural depicts a person’s struggle for mental health.
“Breaking the Cycle” was created by Mary Agnes Rodriguez in 2002. The mural is a call to break the cycle of domestic violence. Teenagers served as crew leaders and information about teen dating violence was included in the mural.
“Educacion” was created in 1994 by Cruz Ortiz through the San Anto Cultural Arts mural program. San Anto’s first mural called attention to the senselessness of the gang warfare that was affecting the Westside. “Tradicion y Cultura” (on the left) was created in 2001. A lowrider car named Sweet As Candy inspired the mural. Lead artists on the mural were Ruth Buentello, Oscar Flores, Damien Hernandez, Victor Mena, Melody Price, Carla Valdez, Chris Munoz and Alex Rubio.
“Seeds of Solidarity”, created in 2005 by Jose Cosme, depicts significant figures in the Westside community that are underappreciated or forgotten by the outside world. Individuals in the mural include Father Tranchese, Emma Tenayuca, Raul Salinas, David Gonzales, Rosie Castro and Patricia Castillo. The building, located at 1837 Guadalupe Street, is occupied by Hope Action Care, a community-based non-profit organization that provides health education and support services to disabled, low-income and homeless persons and their families. Correction: Mary Agnes Rodriguez and Jose Cosme collaborated to create the mural.
“Comprando y Prestando” was created in 1996 by Mary Helen Herrera. The mural honors the community’s Aztec cultural roots.
The final mural we saw on our tour, “Dualidad,” was located in Plaza Guadalupe across the street from Our Lady of Guadalupe Church. The mural was created by Victor Ochoa in 2005 through the San Anto Cultural Arts Muralist-in-Residence program.
Midway through our tour of murals we stopped for a bite to eat at the Malt House, established in 1949 at 115 S. Zarzamora. The curb was lined with cars waiting for to-go orders and the dining room seemed crowded for mid-afternoon. The menu had a variety of items including burgers and fried chicken. We ordered ice cream floats and Tex-Mex food. My daughter’s #2 dinner included enchiladas, flautas and a puffy taco. My guacamole chalupas were crunchy and refreshing. We took home quite a bit of food since the servings were so big. Our bill was a reasonble $20 for both of our dinners plus ice cream. Our waitress was quick and efficient.