River Walk

Alamo Photographic

The Briscoe Western Art Museum just added another gallery and this one is outdoors. The grand opening of the one-third acre McNutt Courtyard on the east end of the Briscoe’s Market Street museum on Thursday morning unveiled eight western sculptures.

I spoke to the museum’s Executive Director Steven Karr about the process for finding the sculptures.

“It was really trying to find pieces that were emblematic of the American West,” Karr said.

Emblematic, but, Karr hopes, not necessarily what you’d expect.

heatheronhertravels.com

The city has been unhappy with the amount of foot-traffic the historic area gets and multiple studies have been done to try and address shortcomings. City council will be discussing the request for proposals that the Department for Culture & Creative Development has devised to encourage more visitors. 

Brian Wilkie

The newest River Walk tile mural was unveiled on Tuesday morning and it celebrates the story of water in San Antonio.

"Contrary to popular belief, oil isn’t the lifeblood of this city, it’s water," said Briscoe Western Art Museum’s Executive Director Steven Karr. "So it’s an important story to tell."  

To tell that story, the Briscoe collaborated with San Antonio Water Systems and artists from Dunis Studios and decided to continue a long-standing San Antonio tradition of creating and installing large tile murals along the River Walk.

Jack Morgan / TPR Arts

That water tank behind the Arneson River Theater stage marks San Antonio’s oldest pump station. Just to the west of it is the brand new Briscoe Museum. The area between them is the beautiful McNutt Courtyard.

As an entrance to the River Walk, it’s a prime place to carry on a San Antonio art tradition — a painted tile mural.

"It’s completely in the W.P.A. tradition," said tile expert and author Susan Toomey Frost talking about the Works Progress Administration tile murals installed as part of the old River Walk. She cites a long tradition.

San Antonio River Authority

It is said that New Yorkers don’t go see the Statue of Liberty -- they just take it for granted. With that as premise, I took you to the River Walk in a recent report so that others could remind you how wonderful the River Walk is. Those to whom I spoke expressed too much enthusiasm for only one report, so here's a follow up.

"I’m Catherine Perez, we just recently moved to the San Antonio area from Florida."

I asked Catherine what she thought of the River Walk in its holiday finery.

"I love it! It’s busy, it’s pretty," she said.

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