By Dr. Ricardo Romo
This week’s cover artist, Adriana M Garcia is an award-winning artist, mural- ist, and scenic designer. She grew up in San Antonio’s Westside and earned a Bachelor of Fine Arts degree from Carnegie Mellon University in Pittsburgh, PA., and studied fine arts in Valencia, Spain.
In 2007 the Center for Health Care Services on Zarzamora Street contracted the San Anto Cultural Arts Center to design a mural for the building’s entrance. Garcia designed and completed the “Brighter days are ahead!” mural that year and ten years later it was restored by Rhys Munro.
In preparation for this mural Garcia visited the clinic and met with the profession- al staff. She also received permission to engage the patients with a survey questionnaire about their mental health needs. A response by a young man proclaimed: “Brighter days are ahead!” This response provided Garcia with the ideal title to her mural. Garcia commented that she sought to “depict the struggle of the individual striving for mental health through his/her feelings, actions and thoughts.”
Garcia has exhibited her work locally and nation- ally and has participated in a number of public art and community mural projects throughout Texas. She frequently works with community youth and has completed murals with the South West Workers Union, Bihl Haus Arts, and San Anto Cultural Arts Center.
Her debut picture book, All Around Us, with writer Xelena Gonzalez, was recognized with the prestigious 2018 Pura Belpre Honor for illustration. In addition, she received the 2018 Tomas Rivera Book award in the picture book category for a children’s book.
As for her art work, Garcia writes: “I create as a way to document the lives I’ve shared in, (which) provides a way to honor a person’s existence and make visible the marks they have imprinted upon me and the environment– a legacy left as well as those still to come.”