SAN ANTONIO - "Siempre Dreaming of You."
That's the saying on a new city landmark, a gateway into south-side neighborhoods. It's an art installation that's already turning heads thanks to it's San Antonio folklore inspiration.
"What an opportunity to literally put a stick in the ground that offers cultural development to focus on the people, the native people who were here before us," South San Antonio artist Cruz Ortiz said.
The construction of the tower all started with a complaint from a south-side resident who told District 4 City Councilman Rey Saldaña about a messy corner off I-35 and Zarzamora.
After some research, the city found out that they owned the property. Because the land is split by railroad tracks and built over a drainage ditch, the city couldn't build anything commercial on the lot.
That's when the idea of this art sculpture was born.
"A world without art is like a taco without salsa. It's good, but there's definitely something missing," Councilman Saldaña said.
The "Dream Song Tower" is the art sculpture off the I-35 South access road, created by Ortiz.
"It's literally 70 feet of heavy metal! It's insane!" he said. "It says 'Siempre Dreaming of You', and it's really a love story."
It's a take on a song by Selena but the focus is on San Antonio folklore and history.
"A lot of it is dedicated to the folklore myth stories that our grandmas tell us," Ortiz explained.
The facade has different cultural icons.
"You see the chicken feet, which refers to the amazing camaroncito dancers, you see the ojo, which is really my grandma's eye probably!" Ortiz joked. "There's that, then there's also the donkey lady which this bridge is where the donkey lady lives. Well, according to myth, pretty sure."
The tower is designed to tell a story, to bring back memories for many whose family members moved to the Alamo City long ago.
"It's great that a community for a long time hasn't seen the first of investments has been overlooked or neglected in the past is getting to see something as zesty, as spicy as art right in their backyard," Councilman Saldaña said. "'Siempre Dreaming of You' pointing towards the north is a lot of the stories of the community members thinking about their own American dream, what inspires an imagination about young people and generations to aspire further and further."
This could be the beginning of an art takeover on the south side.
Councilman Saldaña says that they also want to beautify the underpass right across from the tower.
Early next year, after some landscaping and sidewalks are put in, the project will be complete.
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