Armando Sanchez, a prolific San Antonio artist and muralist, is our featured cover artist for President’s Day commemoration. In 2010 Sanchez painted a large mural at Pico de Gallo Mexican restaurant on Buena Vista street placing the Castro family at the center of the thirty by nine feet indoor painting.
Sanchez was given the creative license to include, in his words, “musicos, poetas, and politicos, as well as businessmen and women–Puro San Antonio.” Several of the Cortez family members are included in the mural, as are many prominent San Antonians.
The artist rendering of the Castro family- Julian, Joaquin and their mother Rosie was completed when Julian was Mayor of San Antonio and his twin brother Joaquin served as a state representative in Austin.
Many of Sanchez’s paintings and murals are in the Cortez Family restaurants– Mi Tierra and Pico de Gallo. Sanchez’s design and image of Emiliano Zapata on t-shirts and aprons are well known and has been selling well at Mi Tierra’s gift booth. One of Sanchez’s proudest moments came when President Bill Clinton jogged wearing a Mi Tierra’s Zapata t-shirt on an early morning following a political event in San Antonio.
Another famous admirer of Sanchez’s art was the African American poet, Maya Angelou. Ms. Angelou visited San Antonio often to see old friends and stopped to buy Sanchez’s art when he sold paintings at Market Square. Sanchez left Market Square 20 years ago to paint and teach art in his home studio near downtown. I am pleased to have been one of his customers over that twenty year period.