Artist Statement: Responding to a Request for Qualifications to create a large-scale mural for the San Pedro Creek Culture Park, my husband Lionel and I, together with a team of esteemed scholars, educators and cultural advisors that includes Ellen Riojas Clark, John Phillip Santos, Jennifer Speed, Carey Latimore, Melinda Iruegas, Sergio Iruegas and Char Miller, proposed to tell the story of San Pedro Creek in five episodes using the Tree of Life/Arbol de la Vida, my favorite story-telling platform. The episodes we’ve selected are sequential, though not chronologically distinct. One of the beauties of the Tree of Life platform is how it can communicate using iconography and symbolism rather than illustrations meant to be interpreted literally or (mis)understood as definitive. In this way, each viewer can be engaged in following the clues and exploring the story in his or her own way.
The intended effect of the art is enchantment, followed quickly by curiosity and (if we are lucky) further investigation. Iconography is plentiful in each panel, so that viewers may discover new things each time they are encountered. Foreground figures help emphasize the creek as home to diverse groups of people and will also come to life through a virtual reality tool on the San Pedro Creek Culture Park mobile app.
About the Artist: Kathy and Lionel Sosa are San Antonio based artists with experience in various media including large scale public art projects. Their art is well known for its color, cultural context and for communicating a sense of place and people that is unique to this incredibly vibrant community and the broader Texas-Mexico borderland region.
For this project they are supported by a team of cultural consultants, historians, and researchers who are working to ensure the artwork provides an authentic and meaningful experience. Team members include Ellen Rioja Clark, PhD, Jennifer Speed, PhD, John Phillip Santos, Carey Latimore, PhD, and Melinda and Sergio Iruegas.
Renderings below provided by Munoz & Co. Artwork depicted for rendering purposes only, not actual artwork.
(Left) View of the mural from the lower paseo.
(Right) View of the upper paseo where the back of the mural walls from cured benches.