Islander Alumna Chosen to Display Mural in Downtown Corpus Christi

Published: June 23, 2016

Islander Alumna Chosen to Display Mural in Downtown Corpus Christi

CORPUS CHRISTI, Texas – Islander alumna Sandra Gonzalez has made her mark on downtown Corpus Christi. Her mural, “Endless Sunset: The Colors of Our City,” now graces a large side wall of the Corpus Christi Caller-Times newspaper building, located on the corner of N. Lower Broadway and Taylor Street.

In September 2015, the newspaper was awarded a property improvement grant from the Downtown Management District to beautify their space. Shortly thereafter, the newspaper put out a call for entries for a mural contest. Gonzalez says more than 20 artists submitted proposals to the contest.

“I am incredibly honored that my design was chosen,” said Gonzalez, a native of Laredo, Texas. “It’s been one of my dreams to paint murals in Corpus Christi.”

Gonzalez, who graduated from Texas A&M University-Corpus Christi with a Master of Arts in Studio Arts in 2011, has extensive experience creating public art. While working for the City of Philadelphia Mural Arts Program, she assisted in the creation and installation of 28 murals.

“Murals are all about community involvement, not just about the artist,” said Gonzalez. “A mural invites people to interact with it. Murals beautify a space.”

The mural includes images of fish, birds, flowers and mandalas – intricate circular designs which add symmetry to the mural. Gonzalez also integrated bright colors to represent the vibrant culture of Corpus Christi.

“My design was based on native wildlife and plants, while incorporating the style of Mexican embroidery,” said Gonzalez. “I wanted it to show off the city’s colorful lifestyle and the beautiful Gulf Coast sunsets.”

The process of creating the mural was sped up thanks to the assistance Gonzalez received from family, friends and the local community. She also received help from students at J.B. Alexander High School in Laredo, where Gonzalez teaches art courses.

“My parents helped me cut and prime each of the 65 large fabric panels that make up the mural. Also, some of my students – during community painting days – helped me trace out the design,” said Gonzalez. “As soon as I had the panels drawn, I came to Corpus Christi and arranged another series of community painting days to allow Corpus Christi locals to help paint the panels.”

The mural, which has only been up for one week, has already drawn attention.

“It feels great to see people stopping by to take pictures,” said Gonzalez.

Gonzalez will spend the next two weeks at the wall, touching up the panels. She has enlisted the help of even more volunteers and a crane to help with the process.

To view photos of the mural in progress, click here.