A Mural by the Bihl Haus Arts Goldens
Currently on Exhibit at the Alicia Trevino Lopez Senior Center, 8353 Culebra (open M-F 7 am-4 pm)
The Bihl Haus Arts Goldens, under the direction of lead artist Adriana Garcia and GO! Arts (the Golden Opportunities Arts Program at Bihl Haus Arts), were busy as bees in Spring 2010 working on their first large-scale mural. The mural, titled “Golden Memories,” was joyously unveiled at Bihl Haus on Saturday, May 29th, in a celebration of The Goldens’ amazing accomplishment (some of our painters are in their 80s, but please don’t tell them where you heard that!).
The “Golden Memories” mural, which measures 15 feet across and 6 ½ feet high, was painted with acrylics on five 3-foot wide portable canvas panels. The subject of the mural is drawn from the personal memories, old and new, of Golden painters Maria Larralde, Felicitas Luna, Dora Maldonado, Martha Mosley, Ruth Navarro, Leona Pappas, Carolyn Sanchez, Adela Solis, Judith Wagoner, and Irma Wilson.
Muralist Adriana Maria Garcia, a San Antonio native, directed the production of the mural. She is best known for her colorful portraits and murals using bold brushstrokes and often paints women who have a strong sense of self. “It is important for me to represent women in a very strong manner and to dignify them in a way that I see them every day.” Adriana has worked on community murals with the San Anto Cultural Arts Center and Casa de la Cultura in Del Rio, Texas, giving voice to issues such as mental health and immigration.
Bright colors and inventive patterning enliven the mural. On the left are childhood recollections—many good (riding on a merry-go-round, going to the drive-in theater, coming to San Antonio by train), a few not so good (working as a child migrant in the fields). At center is a large gnarled oak, its withering leaves on the left, symbolizing the passage of time and fading of memory, contrast with bright fluttering green leaves on the right, signifying hope, renewal, and life. Beneath it, three Goldens, wearing aprons flecked with paint, perch on the Dreambench, a charming recreation of the mosaic tiled bench made by the Goldens two years ago (under the guidance of lead artist Dale Jenssen) and found outside the Bihl Haus under a lone oak. At right, more recent memories dominate the canvas: New Year’s eve fireworks from the Tower of the Americas, a distant view of the modern City skyline, and a charming “portrait” of the Bihl Haus. Tying the various parts of the mural together are golden sun rays, emblazoned with hopeful words like family, love, friendship, talent.
After its unveiling at Bihl Haus on May 29, 2010, the mural was installed in the Dolph Briscoe Library at the UT Health Science Center in San Antonio, where it remained on display through early September. Special thanks to Librarian Penelope Borchers for making this possible. The mural was then exhibited at the Elvira Cisneros Senior Center, and it has made various appearances around San Antonio at conferences and workshops on seniors and aging well. The mural is currently on loan to the Alicia Trevino Lopez Senior Center. It will be available to visit other locations across the City in 2014-15. (To inquire about exhibiting the mural in your space, please contact Director Kellen Kee McIntyre by clicking here.)
The GO! Arts is supported in part by grants from the Genevieve and Ward Orsinger Foundation; WellMed Medical Group; WellMed Charitable Foundation; Blake, Kymberly and Dr. George Rapier III Family Unitrust; Shield-Ayres Foundation; the City of San Antonio Depatment of Culture and Creative Development; and Primrose at Monticello Park Senior Apartments, where Bihl Haus Arts is located.