ARTS AND EATS
Not only will Rosario’s, an iconic Mexican restaurant in San Antonio’s Southtown neighborhood, move to a new location down the street, it will have a new look.
Restaurateur Lisa Wong said she has hired internationally recognized artist Inti Castro to paint a mural at the relocated Rosario’s, making San Antonio the first Texas city to feature an artwork from Castro.
A press release says Castro has created more than 100 murals worldwide over the last 25 years, and is known for large-scale murals exceeding 140 vertical feet and typically reflecting the colors, energy, and passion of his Latino heritage.
According to the release, Castro’s art often contains themes of life, death, and ancient religion, always anchored by a figurative representation of life as a journey. His work can be seen on exterior walls around the United States, Puerto Rico, Mexico, his native Chile, and numerous other countries.
Wong says Castro’s work will complement the cultural diversity and color of Southtown, where Rosario’s is moving from its longtime footprint at 910 S. Alamo St. to a larger spot at 722 S. St. Mary’s St. (the former home of El Mirador, another storied Southtown eatery).
The new Rosario’s project incorporates parts of the old El Mirador complex, including part of historic, Civil War-era stone, and caliche wall. Castro is expected to paint the 24-foot-by-69-foot mural on the restaurant back wall facing South Presa between September 29 and October 10.
“In a city and neighborhood with such a rich artistic history, I am excited to be working with a Latino artist of Inti’s talents and international prominence,” Wong says in the release.
Wong consulted with local contemporary artist, educator, and community leader Andy Benavides to help identify a muralist who would provide a unique style, perspective and level of excitement to the Rosario’s relocation project.
Benavides, whose recent public work includes consulting for the San Pedro Culture Park and teaching young students via his arts education program, S.M.A.R.T. (Studying Mindful Arts Resources Together), says he has traveled and studied around the world. He brings this knowledge and experience to his clients in San Antonio, including consulting with Wong on several design projects.
“We wanted a muralist to complement my new space, to offer something unique, timeless and large-scale for both locals and the millions of tourists who visit our city each year,” Wong says in the release, adding that Castro’s mural will focus on youth as a means to capture and share Wong’s story and that of her family, their values, and dreams of the future.
“Born of Mexican and Chinese descent, [Wong’s] story embodies the American dream. Her bi-cultural roots, strong work ethic and passion for life is the driving force behind her success,” Castro says in his artist’s statement.
“The detailed design elements from the patterns on the wall and clothing will not only be reflective of Lisa’s life but pay tribute to San Antonio’s rich cultural history. This artistic mural will personify and tell the story of an American family working together across generations through love, hard work, resilience and passion. These are the key ingredients of her family’s success and what brought their dreams to life,” Castro adds.