Mi Casa, Your Casa: Public Art in San Antonio

Art has the power to attract and inspire millions of museum visitors worldwide, but public art reminds us that we hold the potential to move, change and energize our communities.

Mi Casa, Your Casa, a contemporary art installation on view  at the San Antonio Museum of Art until August 21, encourages visitors to explore and experiment with the relationship with art and space.  Created by Mexican designers Hector Esrawe and Ignacio Cadena, Mi Casa represents the many definitions of “home” in Latin America: a space where individuals, friends and families can meet, talk, celebrate or relax.

The installation features 10 bright red frames, representative of a traditional house, and hammocks that hold visitors as they relax, sway or move.



Originally commissioned for the High Museum in Atlanta,  the installation has traveled to cities throughout the world as a reminder that spaces physically expand or contract to meet the demands and needs of its communities.

Visitors are invited to experience that change at the museum’s free Mi Casa, Your Casa event on Friday, June 24, from 6 to 9 p.m. Attendees will have an an opportunity  to interact with the installation, enjoy musical performances and art activities, and purchase local eats from vendors and restaurants including Mr. Meximum,  The Lemonade Company  and Nao Latin Gastro Bar.

Omar Gonzalez, director of Real Estate for Hemisfair, will also lead a special tour on the importance of art in community spaces. (Arrive early to secure your space, the tour starts at 6:30 p.m.)
“Art is important in community spaces … because it has the ability to capture our minds and even allow us to escape our reality for a few minutes,” Gonzalez said during a recent interview.

Art, whether temporary or permanent, encourages people to gather, discuss ideas and collaborate. Public art, like Mi Casa, also activates and connects individuals with underutilized spaces, something that local designers, artists and City officials are hoping to accomplish through developments like Hemisfair Park, San Pedro Creek and the San Antonio Missions.

“We want people to feel at home at the Museum,”stated Kelso Director Katie Luber in a recent press release. “We are so grateful to the Mexican Consul here in San Antonio and the Mexican government for this interactive art opportunity.”

There are spaces in San Antonio that have already been transformed by public art and thoughtful development.

When San Antonio hosted the World’s Fair in 1968, Hemisfair was seen as the bridge between Northern and Southern Hemispheres, Gozalez said, but “what is remarkable is that a major part of the original fair grounds have been underutilized and virtually untouched for 45 years.”
Today, Hemisfair offers incredible green spaces including Yanaguana Garden for residents and visitors to enjoy. The next step is to develop safe, walkable areas that connect pedestrians with green spaces and cultural destinations beyond the tourist shops and hotels near the River Walk.

Green spaces like Travis Park, Yanaguana Garden, and Mission Reach have inspired locals to step outside their homes, engage with each other, share stories, and create new community narratives. It’s clear that San Antonio is ready to update its story.

“Bringing larger elements like homes to a smaller scale gives you a different appreciation for their structure and their belonging in the world,” said Gonzalez.”It reminds us that our casa exists to be part of a larger community. Our community exists to support others and to inspire them,” and public art is a powerful reminder of that role.

Mi Casa, Su Casa is free to the public, and will remain on view until Aug. 21. For more information about coming SA Museum events, click here.

Culture Spoon

Freelance Writer and Photographer based in San Antonio, Texas

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