The Esperanza Peace and Justice Center, in collaboration with the Land Art Generator Initiative, South Texas Solar Systems and in partnership with the San Antonio Independent School District (SAISD), has installed the world’s first Land Art Generator Solar Mural artwork. The solar energy-producing artwork will be unveiled on the west-facing exterior wall of J.T. Brackenridge Elementary School at the historic crossroads of San Antonio’s Westside, Guadalupe and South Brazos Streets.
This Land Art Generator — a piece of public art producing renewable energy — consists of 18 60-cell solar panels coated with image-embedded photovoltaic film. Fifty extant Fotohistorias photo banners along Guadalupe Street will be illuminated with electricity produced by the Solar Mural artwork.
The solar mural will produce electric energy that will be stored to light these photo banners along Guadalupe Street at night for approximately 30 years. The artwork’s imagery is of a 1906 sepia-toned class picture of students at J.T. Brackenridge Elementary School in its original location, juxtaposed to a 2018 full-color image of 76 J.T. Brackenridge fifth grade science students.
These contemporary students helped design the mural’s placement and content through workshops with the Land Art Generator Initiative, whose mission is to make renewable energy beautiful. The artwork also includes text by internationally-acclaimed Chicana poet Carmen Tafolla — a former San Antonio and Texas poet laureate — and image embellishment by local artist Adriana Garcia.
The Esperanza Peace and Justice Center collects and exhibits historic photos as banners along the streets of San Antonio’s Westside as part of a project called “En Aquellos Tiempos: Fotohistorias del Westside,” a unique outdoor street museum highlighting the area’s rich historical and cultural heritage. The area along the Guadalupe Street fence of J.T. Brackenridge Elementary School, at the gateway to the Westside just over the Guadalupe Bridge, is devoted to fifty sepia- and black-and-white photographic images of local youth shot from 1906 to 1960. Tens of thousands of motorists will be able to see the photo banners along Guadalupe Street at night.
South Texas Solar Systems, based in San Antonio, is a solar engineering, procurement and construction (EPC) company that has influenced the sustainable energy-based industry with solar energy for over 12 years in San Antonio and South Texas. The company strives to be the leader of the conversion process from a carbon-based energy system to a sustainably based energy system by providing businesses, individuals and governments utility cost savings through the implementation of the leading solar energy, building automation and energy control solutions.
This Land Art Generator Solar Mural artwork was made possible with support from the Alice Kleberg Reynolds Foundation, Awesome SA, Mission Solar Energy, Outback Power, Sistine Solar, Unirac and the Texas Commission on the Arts.
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