Xavier Menjares, left, and Ezekiel Garcia, right, work on flattening out clay to make a ceramic tile. Photo by Kathryn Boyd-Batstone
Xavier Menjares, left, and Ezekiel Garcia, right, work on flattening out clay to make a ceramic tile. Photo by Kathryn Boyd-Batstone

The Blue Star Contemporary MOSAIC program students and Artist-in-Residence Alex Rubio are constructing a mural for the east wall of the San Antonio College McAllister Fine Arts Building.

The 20 by 50-foot mural, called Movement, will be the largest hand-made and hand glazed ceramic tile piece in San Antonio. The color scheme, which features yellow ochre and rust red, and curvilinear design reflects the movement of dance and art that takes place at the McAllister Fine Arts Building and the bustle of San Pedro Street.

The MOSAIC program is an after-school program created to encourage and foster high school students’ professional careers as artists.

“I wanted to create something that would have that flow, motion, and split second inspiration that you can drive past, see it out of the corner of your eye and reflect on,” Rubio said.

Rubio, three high school MOSAIC students, a MOSAIC alumnus, and a student instructor from the Southwest School of Art have been working on the mosaic for almost a year now.

Movement will be installed on the east side of San Antonio College McAllister Fine Arts Building.  Photo by Kathryn Boyd-Batstone
Movement will be installed on the east side of San Antonio College McAllister Fine Arts Building. Photo by Kathryn Boyd-Batstone

“There is something pretty special about dedicating so much time to one piece,” said student instructor Juan Zavala-Castro.

“Working in mosaic medium is a challenge for young people, but it’s an alternative material that they can really experiment and explore,” Rubio said. “These students are naturally creative.”

Although working with clay and creating mosaics was a first for all three MOSAIC students, they were fast to learn and found comfort in the routine of the steps.

“It’s just fun to see a little lump of clay and then just spreading it out and carving it and changing it to what you want exactly,” said Blue Star Contemporary MOSAIC alumnus Joey Rivera, who since working on this project has decided to major in mosaics at the Southwest School of Art.

Alex Rubio and the MOSAIC after-school program have created six murals around San Antonio including Dream Peace on MLK Drive, Yanaguana at Hemisfair Park, the San Juan Square Mural, Neighborhood Landmarks on the side of H-E-B on 415 New Braunfels Ave., Vortex on Nolan Street, and Compass Rose, which serves as the starting point of mile markers for the Mission Reach.

Movement will be the seventh mural in San Antonio created by Alex Rubio and the MOSAIC Program students. Production is scheduled to end this summer and installation is planned to follow shortly after.

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*Top Image: Xavier Menjares, left, and Ezekiel Garcia, right, work on flattening out clay to make a ceramic tile. Photo by Kathryn Boyd-Batstone.

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Kathryn Boyd-Batstone

Kathryn Boyd-Batstone is a California native and a graduate of the University of Oregon. She moved to San Antonio in December 2015 to join The Rivard Report team as photographer and videographer.