Mar 29, 2024 - News

Sculptures pay homage to Tejano, Conjunto music in San Antonio

A mosaic accordion sculpture in red and blue colors.

A mosaic accordion sculpture at the River Walk Public Art Garden pays homage to Tejano and Conjunto music. Photo: Courtesy of the City of San Antonio Department of Arts & Culture

New public art honors San Antonio's Tejano and Conjunto music culture.

Why it matters: As the city grows, artwork can remind everyone of San Antonio's rich cultural historyand present — with Tejano and Conjunto.

Zoom in: The city's Department of Arts & Culture this week unveiled "Orgullo Tejano" by local artist Luis Lopez. It sits along Historic Old Highway 90 by SW 37th Street on the city's West Side.

  • The sculpture, about 14 feet tall, uses mosaic tiles and stainless steel to make up an accordion player, whose instrument becomes part of his body.
  • A Mesoamerican scroll sticks out of his mouth in a nod to speech and sound, per the city.
  • In the folds of the accordion are Indigenous figures attracted by the music.
  • The color palette of the sculpture is meant to recall the era in which Tejano began.

Bonus: A smaller, companion piece to the main sculpture — in the form of a colorful, outstretched mosaic accordion — is installed at the River Walk Public Art Garden downtown.

A tall sculpture of a man holding an accordion in mosaic and stainless steel.
The main sculpture along Historic Old Highway 90. Photos: Courtesy of the City of San Antonio Department of Arts & Culture

What they're saying: "This installation creates a sense of cultural empowerment and enlightenment and promotes the richness, health and pride of our community," Lopez said in a statement.

  • "I hope that this piece not only pays homage to our heritage but challenges the imagination and inspires future generations."

Between the lines: The main sculpture sits not far from Del Bravo Record Shop, a family-owned business established in 1966 that specializes in Tejano and Conjunto genres, among other offerings.

What's next: A city Fiesta medal featuring the new sculpture will be available during a giveaway on April 6, 10am-noon, at the Centro de Artes Gallery.

  • The artist will be at the gallery to meet with visitors.
  • The medals are free and are available on a first-come, first-serve basis.
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