Armando Sanchez, a native of South San Antonio, grew up drawing and sketching and recalls that as a child in elementary school his teach- ers would ask him to use his artistic skills to help deco- rate the classroom for holi- day events such as Thanks- giving and Halloween. Soon after enrolling at Bur- bank High School, an art teacher noticed his creative skills, in particular, his excel- lent lettering, and suggested that Armando works as a sign maker. The following year, Armando left Bur- bank before graduating and worked over the next five years in the sign business. His big career break came in the late 1960s when he filled an artistic position at Ran- dolph Air Force Base. At Randolph, he was assigned to paint portraits of the Com- manding Officers as well as canvas renderings of aircraft for the base headquarters. He loved the base art assign- ments but decided to leave to join the public relations firm owned by Lionel Sosa where he did artistic design work. While working for the Sosa firm, he met Jorge Cor- tez, then CEO of Mi Tierra Restaurant, and began a life-long friendship with him. Cortez commissioned Armando in 1970 to paint a Zapata portrait which be- came the icon for the res- taurant. His Zapata image graces the aprons and tee shirts at Mi Tierra and is sold in the thousands annually. Armando is best known as a watercolorist, but his outdoor and indoor murals at Mi Tier- ra and Pico de Gallo are also highly admired by the San Antonio community. One prominent mural features the famous Mexican singer Jorge Negrete. Another mural captures more than one hundred well-known personalities in San Antonio. Today Armando teaches art in his home studio and con- tinues to paint colorful mu- rals with historical themes. His colorful watercolor por- traits are especially popular in many restaurants around San Antonio.
About The Author
Ricardo Romo earned a B.S. degree from the The University of Texas Austin; a M.A. degree in American History from Loyola University Los Angeles; and a Ph.D in American History from the University of California Los Angeles. Romo currently serves as a member of the Board of Directors for Southwest Research Institute, Board of Directors for the Brackenridge Park Conservancy, and Board of Directors for Humanities Texas. He is a member and past Vice President for The Philosophical Society of Texas.
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