A piece of Seguin’s history will be highlighted in the historic downtown area as part of the area’s newest mural.
A large painting depicting a group of Texas Rangers and their Ranger Station, designed by Houston-based artist Chris Garcia, is planned to go up on a northern wall of The Aumont, for a price tag of just $14,419.
The final design, artist and artist fee was presented to Seguin City Council at a Tuesday meeting where they approved it 5 to 1 with Councilman Chris Aviles voting against it.
The design, which is a project of the Seguin Commission on the Arts, features vibrant colors and shapes, almost resembling an oil painting, and focuses on the story of Seguin’s founding fathers — the 33 Texas Rangers.
There’s also a plan to add in a block of text talking about how the Texas Rangers played a part in the community.
“The Commission wanted the theme to be on Seguin’s founding by 33 Texas Rangers to kind of tell that story,” Seguin Main Street and CVB Director Kyle Kramm said. “Unfortunately, we don’t have any real photos of the rangers from 1838 so we are kind of going with generic gentlemen.”
When picking a design and theme, the organization went back and forth on different ideas, including on whether or not to add Juan Seguin to it, but ultimately they stayed with their original plan, Kramm said.
Together with Garcia, the Commission also sought out approval from the Historic Preservation and Design Commission as required by the city’s Public Art Ordinance.
Councilman Chris Rangel questioned why Juan Seguin was not selected for the project during the meeting. Kramm responded saying that it would be a recreation of the statue of him that is in Central Park.
For Aviles, the mural could have shown more than just the Texas Rangers, he said.
“Seguin is more than just about a law enforcement agency. It’s about the crown jewel, which is the Guadalupe River, Juan Seguin, about the pecans and several bits of history,” Aviles said. “There’s Walnut Springs too. I just felt there could have been a little more to it.”
The Seguin Commission on the Arts has worked on adding a new mural to the downtown area for the last two years.
“The Seguin Commission on the Arts hosts a variety of events, their largest being ArtsFest and so every year we try to create a profit off of those events,” Kramm said. “Part of our role on Commission on the Arts is to facilitate public art projects. We were starting to get a nice pot of money and so we said ‘what public art do we want to do?’ and so the Commission decided we wanted to do the mural.”
Before starting the project, the organization took a mural walking tour in New Braunfels to learn about the neighboring city’s mural program. While there they had the opportunity to learn about funding, choosing locations and mural themes.
Along with approving the design on Tuesday, Seguin City Council also approved the selection of Garcia as the artist.
Garcia was one of seven artists that submitted proposals about their experience when a call for artists was made in January.
“The Commission scored the proposals and the artists based on the artist’s experience, knowledge of the material, overall concept and the artist fee,” Kramm said. “The mural design by Chris Garcia was selected based on the scoring. Mr. Garcia has extensive experience with murals and presented a complete proposal with a design concept that scored highly among the Commission members.”
As a Houston contemporary artist, Garcia has done several public art pieces including one at the Pearland Chamber of Commerce and some at schools within Houston’s Greater East End neighborhood.
The mural’s price tag of $14,419 is being funded by the Commission from proceeds collected from ArtsFest, Guadalupe County United Way, Help Seguin Shine and from the city’s Hotel Occupancy Tax Fund.
The mural was approved following a motion by Councilman Jeremy Roy and Councilman Mark Herbold. Councilman Ernest Leal was absent from the meeting.