Artwork helps embellish downtown

Mia Estrada
Collegiate High School

Walking through the streets of downtown, the unevenness of past culture and broken spirits is noticeably seen. The colors of painted murals seem to solely blend of South Texas culture as the art is surrounded by a washed downtown.
Ariel Cabrera, a junior at Collegiate High School, feels a sense of togetherness with the downtown art.
“I feel the street art here in Corpus shows a sense of togetherness and brings character to the city, especially the downtown area with the Mexican heritage art,” Cabrera said
Corpus Christi’s Marina Arts District has witnessed a flash of color on lonely buildings in more recent years, enhancing local artists to reveal the colors of our city.
Well known street artists like Sandra Gonzalez, who painted the mural “Endless Sunset: The Colors of our City” in front of Caller-Times, have contributed to many Corpus Christi art projects.
Gonzalez, 29, found inspiration from Mexican-American Culture. Her mural portrays the Gulf Coast sunsets with the use of native wildlife and plants.
“It means a lot when I can bring some joy to the people who look at it or take pictures with my mural,” Gonzalez said. “That’s the beauty of public art; we are making art accessible for many people and we are beautifying the city one wall at a time.”
Libby Averyt, former publisher and president of the Caller-Times, said the downtown artwork adds a sense of community.
“It adds atmosphere and just some life downtown. We wanted people to feel like it was something positive about Corpus Christi and something they can share in,” Averyt said.
K Space Contemporary, a nonprofit organization, provides emerging to mid-career artists with the opportunity to express art in all mediums.
Cheryl Votzmeyer, education coordinator at K Space Contemporary, strives for artists to become more embedded with local art.
“We want to give the artists a place to gather, to be together and feed off of each other,” Votzmeyer said.
K Space has added more art and culture to the district with the “Loteria!” mural at 619 Chaparral St.
The inspiration for the piece came from South Texas pride of the Mexican culture bingo game Loteria. K Space has also given artists the opportunity to create other murals downtown and would like to add more.
“We are expanding our mural arts program. We’re going to be doing a lot more murals in the downtown area, but also the whole region of Corpus Christi,” Votzmeyer said.
The Downtown Management District has organized the electrical box murals that are located throughout the downtown district.
According to Barbie Baker, merchants and special events manager for the Downtown Management District, artists have painted 15 of the electrical boxes.
“It’s incredible that we get to work on fun stuff with our local businesses, local artists, and our community,” Baker said.
As for Gonzalez and other local artists, K Space Contemporary, the Downtown Management District and Caller-Times have helped embellish downtown and bring more awareness to the local art scene.
“I feel very happy when I see people looking at my mural. I poured my heart and soul on the creation and execution on this mural,” Gonzalez said.

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