New mosaic to be placed on McAllister

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A $70,000 mosaic will decorate McAllister.  Courtesy

A $70,000 mosaic will decorate McAllister. Courtesy

High schoolers create glazed handmade ceramic tiles for mural.

By Cynthia M. Herrera

This college will receive a $70,000 mosaic art piece as early as June in partnership with Blue Star Contemporary Art Museum’s MOSAIC youth program.

The idea originally came from local banker Tom Frost Jr. who presented it to Robert Zeigler, former president of this college, in spring 2012. Zeigler and the board of trustees approved the contract for the purchase of the mosaic on October 28, 2014.

Although the campus address will change from 1300 San Pedro Ave. to 1819 N. Main, the mosaic will be installed on the wall facing San Pedro. The McAllister Fine Arts Center is at San Pedro Avenue and West Courtland Place.

This was the only space available for the community to see it, said John Strybos, associate vice chancellor of facilities operations and construction management. “It’s the most public and biggest façade of the building on this campus,” Strybos said. “It’s not something people will expect; it’s really going to surprise them.”

Alex Rubio, artist-in-residence at Blue Star, designed the abstract mosaic mural, “Movement.” It reflects all that takes place within the building, such as dance, music and design, according to a minute order from October 2014.

Dr. Robert Vela, president of this college, who was also included in the decision-making process as vice president of the college, said Alex Rubio was taken into consideration because of his engagement with students in the arts. “His student participation in artwork attracted us,” said Vela.

High school students will create the glazed handmade ceramic titles in a studio at the Blue Star Arts Complex.

MOSAIC is an after-school art program for high school students, Rubio said. It is part of the Blue Star Contemporary Art Museum Education program, created in 2008.

Rubio is in charge of overseeing and mentoring the students. “I’m very proud of our MOSAIC art program and students,” he said.

The program has completed several projects, including an 11-foot high by 40-foot wide ceramic mural on H-E-B on North New Braunfels Avenue and East Houston Street.

Five lead student artists are currently working on the mural’s tiles during the spring and summer semester, Rubio said, adding there is no completion date yet. The students will receive a stipend for their work as well as a new addition add to their portfolio.

Some students within the program are considering coming to this college after graduation, and some of the MOSAIC alumni are currently enrolled at this college, Rubio said.

Community members and students from this college are welcome to volunteer with the program. No art background is necessary.

To volunteer, contact Rubio at 210-793-8899.


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