Originally published in the San Antonio Report
Philadelphia is touted as the mural capital of the nation, with Mural Arts Philadelphia boasting 3,600 murals and 1,000 sites on its waiting list. Closer to home, one online guide takes pride in Austin’s murals, listing 84 popular street paintings.
But San Antonio is quietly emerging as a leader among mural cities. Between the San Antonio Street Art Initiative (SASAI) and Centro San Antonio, two newer entrants on the city’s mural scene, 84 murals have been added in the last year alone. The venerable nonprofit San Anto Cultural Arts has been fostering what it calls “muralism” for two decades, adding 55 colorful community murals to the city’s neighborhoods.
Anyone strolling through downtown can hardly walk a block without running into a mural, with new street paintings popping up regularly as part of Centro’s recent Art Everywhere initiative, adding to an existing gallery of public art viewable on city streets.
The San Antonio Report asked Mayor Ron Nirenberg to take us on a brief walking tour of the area near his City Hall office, to gaze at the palettes of vibrant colors, new and old, that enliven downtown streetscapes.