Republic Square Mural Sculpture
The Republic Square Mural Sculpture stood proudly in the park from March 2023 to May 2023, a beacon representing Austin’s diversity and multiculturalism. In honor of Black History Month, Women’s History Month and Austin’s Mexican American Heritage Corridor, the selected artists showed us important moments in Austin’s past, present and future through their eyes.
“"It's an absolute honor to work with Downtown Austin Alliance installing public art. This particular project gives us the opportunity to highlight key aspects of our city that have helped make it so great.”
— Richard Samuel, RichesArt
Founder of RichesArt Gallery, a self-taught Watercolor artist from Texas and former pro football player. I like to think I have a pretty unique approach to my art. I have played ball all over the world and it has given me a chance to experience so many different forms of art and expression. Throughout this process, I realized I want everyone that views my art to feel positive inspiration and emotions. RichesArt is a unique expression of nostalgia and self-identity. As the only Black-owned gallery in Austin, Texas, I’m committed to diversifying Austin’s art scene and bringing work from underrepresented communities to the forefront.
Field of Dreams // Richard Samuel, 2023
From the artist: The navy blue and floral theme of the front of the piece complements the back depiction of Downs-Mabson Field as a significant place in baseball history. It was once the home field of the Austin Black Senators (a team in the professional “Negro League” of the pre-integration area). Willie Wells was the most famous of the Senators, and you’ll probably see his portrait around town, especially if you go looking for the art of painter and musician Tim Kerr. Other notable players of the time who graced the field were Satchel Paige, Smokey Joe Williams, Willie Mays and Buck O’Neil. Downs-Mabson field was also the home ballpark of Samuel Huston College before it was combined with Tillotson College in 1952, and the Huston Tillotson University Rams continue to play there today.
Austin, TX-based artist Bryana Iglesias has been showcased in group exhibitions in Texas & South America. Her work offers perspective into a variety of themes. Her conceptual art often explores the connection between energy and form through reflection, headspace, and emotion. Bryana draws inspiration from her dance with life, whimsical mojo and sociological imagination. Additionally, Bryana aims to infuse her work with colorful memories that remind her of her Peruvian and Mexican roots.
Georgia in Time // Bryana Iglesias, 2023
From the artist: Georgia O’Keeffe is known for her contribution to modern art. Her western paintings often involved feminine symbolism. In my painting of her, I captured a portrait and interpreted one of her paintings. For Woman’s History Month, I invite viewers’ thoughts around women and their rights at this time.
Ernesto Hernández Ramírez
Ernesto Hernández Ramírez, “cheché”, is a self-taught muralist with over 26 years of experience, creating public artwork starting at the age of 16. He sees murals as his first love in the arts, which led him up to explore various expressions like furniture design, filmmaking, digital design and 3D work. He has painted numerous large-scale murals throughout the Southwest, Georgia and Mexico. Born on the border of Juarez/El Paso, he has a broad perspective of his Indigenous/Native American roots, which inspires and feeds his art. Ernesto is currently working on various large-scale projects including a six part TV series he is screenwriting and a couple of public art pieces. He believes art is for the masses and should be available for anyone to experience.
Music and Protest, Flor y Canto // Ernesto Hernández Ramírez, 2023
From the artist: Jose Alfredo Jimenez and Pedro Infante were Mexican singers known internationally and performed throughout the Americas. Most don’t know that they came and performed in Austin, close to 5th street. Jose Alfredo Jimenez is the OG of Mariachi music. He built the genre and wrote dozens of songs that other singers recorded and made careers off of, including his good friend Pedro Infante. Imagine this golden period of Mexican culture, music, and film with Jose Alfredo and Pedro Infante hanging out with Frida Kahlo, Diego Rivera and other titans of the arts and Hollywood legends. Pedro Infante died at a young age, right before he was nominated for best actor at the Berlin Film Festival in 1957, beating out Marlon Brando and Henry Fonda. Another legend of Austin music who not many know about but who is one of the masters of the accordion in the Conjunto / Tex-Mex genre is Camilo Cantu. He is considered one of the main 1930’s pioneers of the genre.