San Antonio shines with new public artwork from world-renowned sculptor

San Antonio shines with new public art from world-renowned sculptor

Star of Texas sculpture San Antonio
Star of Texas is one of several Sebastian works located in San Antonio. Courtesy of San Antonio Department of Arts & Culture

A new sculpture unveiled at the San Antonio International Airport has a starring role in representing the city as a welcoming and rich cultural hub.

Star of Texas (La Estrella de Texas), the newest San Antonio sculpture from renowned Mexican artist Sebastian, was revealed at the airport Monday, April 12. The newly dedicated piece is part of the City of San Antonio’s public art collection and the newest addition to the citywide retrospective exhibit of Sebastian’s work, “Sebastian in San Antonio: 50+ Years/20+ Sites/100+ Works.”

Located at the south side of the airport’s Airport Boulevard entrance, the 17-foot-tall structure — in Sebastian’s signature fiery red — features five vertical steel components that appear to support each other’s weight. At the top of the sculpture, negative space creates the shape of a star.

Like much of Sebastian’s art, Star of Texas evokes hope and more than an air of symbolism, representing the connectivity San Antonio has with the rest of the world and honoring Texas’ recognition as the Lone Star State.

“Symbolically, San Antonio is both a lone star in its commitment to equity and a star in a constellation of the greater good that brings us all together, representing our shared humanity,” notes a release from the City of San Antonio’s Department of Arts & Culture.

“Public art is a significant part of who we are, representing where we’ve been, where we are, and where we hope to go as a community,” says San Antonio Mayor Ron Nirenberg. “The Star of Texas speaks to the long-lasting impression San Antonio leaves on visitors and residents alike. Whether visiting San Antonio for the first time or the 100th, or a resident leaving the airport for a vacation, we all know the feeling that keeps us longing for a fast return to this great city.”

Sebastian, a prolific artist whose sculptures have been installed in cities throughout the world, from Europe to South America, North America, and Japan, began working with San Antonio reps in the fall of 2019 to host a retrospective of his work.

In October 2020, the city unveiled Sebastian’s Door of Equality (La Puerta de Igualdad) near the San Antonio Central Library, a 33-foot sculpture emblazoned with the word “equality” and symbolizing the ideas of peace, tranquility, wisdom, loyalty, strength, and trust.

Additionally, Sebastian’s La Antorcha de la Amistad (The Torch of Friendship), the unmistakable 63-foot bright-red sculpture located in downtown San Antonio, acts as a welcoming beacon for visitors and a reminder of San Antonio’s friendliness. 

“As the world’s gateway to San Antonio, San Antonio International Airport is proud to host one of maestro Sebastian’s iconic sculptures,” says Jesus H. Saenz, Jr., director of airports for the San Antonio Airport System. “The Star of Texas will be a beloved landmark for travelers and residents alike for many years to come.”