SAN ANTONIO -- In the heart of San Antonio’s historic inner West Side, the world’s first wall-mounted Land Art Generator solar mural artwork is now up.
- Center partnered with SAISD, South Texas Solar Systems, and the Land Art Generator Initiative
- Panel is a digital photograph of Brackenridge Elementary students who studied solar energy
“Yes, we count. Yes, we’re great. Yes, we matter,” said Graciela Sanchez with Esperanza Peace and Justice Center.
Esperanza, together with SAISD, South Texas Solar Systems, and the Land Art Generator Initiative made the dream of the installation happen in an area of San Antonio often attached with biased stereotypes and bigoted stigma.
“This is an affirmation that our history counts, that our voice counts,” Sanchez said.
A dedication to the public and private partnership was attended by more than a hundred community members, school staff and students.
Moments before the curtain came down, revealing the two-picture solar panel, Sanchez reminded the crowd of the segregated and often racial bias she’s heard growing up on the city's West Side
An image of the Brackenridge Elementary students pictured on the world's first solar mural (Courtesy: SAISD)
“All my life outsiders have said that this neighborhood is bad, ugly, dangerous, and scary,” she said.
The bottom portion of the panel is a digital photograph of Brackenridge Elementary students from two years ago. Those students studied solar energy in their science courses.
“I’m this regular kid at Tofolla Middle School in seventh grade," said former Brackenridge student Lazette Ramierz. "And now I am going down in history that have lived here before me.”
The top half of the panel shows a digitally-scanned sepia-toned class picture of Brackenridge students from 1906.
A portion of text written by Poet Laureate Carmen Tafolla reads: “Boundless dreams sing the verses of changing world.”
The internationally acclaimed writer was raised in this neighborhood.
“This is an affirmation that our history counts that our voice counts,” said Tafolla.
The solar artwork will power clean energy to the highly visible and historic 50 black and white photos, which currently line the school’s fence on Guadalupe Street.
“It’s going to illuminate at nighttime, more history, more beautiful people and break all those stereotypes,” Sanchez said.