To celebrate the creation of 60 murals in three years, the San Antonio Street Art Initiative (SASAI) has teamed up with Lone Star Beer for a Fiesta-themed block party along the St. Mary’s Strip on Saturday.
The N. St. Mary’s Strip Fiesta Block Party begins at 4 p.m. with a slate of music shows at Lonesome Rose, then continues at Paper Tiger with a 7 p.m. free show featuring accordionist Santiago Jimenez Jr., new country rocker Garrett T. Capps, and The Texases.
Hi-Tones will present four bands starting at 9 p.m., and clubs along the Strip will feature live DJ sets throughout the evening. Cover charges at the Lonesome Rose and Hi-Tones will be waived for the first 25 audience members to arrive and mention the Street Art Initiative, according to a promotional video posted on social media by SASAI Project Manager Burgundy Woods.
The street art-focused nonprofit formed in 2018 bills itself as “the largest outdoor gallery in Texas,” and has set about proving it. A group of 16 highway overpass pillars painted in 2018 by a diverse group of artists was followed by 22 murals installed in 2019 at various points along the Strip and a dozen murals in the downtown area since. SASAI’s work has also extended to other parts of the city, including the South Side and the San Antonio International Airport.
The block party will be centered in the outdoor courtyard of Paper Tiger, which will be activated by SASAI with a set of new “mini-murals” by four street artists, JENKINS2D, Deleted, Kimie Flores, and Nik Soup, with some live painting during the evening hours, according to street artist and SASAI co-founder Shek Vega.
The San Antonio Police Department will be propping up barricades along North St. Mary’s Street from 7 p.m. to 2 a.m. through Sunday, April 3, as part of a short-term initiative aimed at reducing parking and traffic hassles for residents. Officials are encouraging patrons of area businesses to utilize ride-share options.
Woods said the goals of the party are to help revive the Strip, which has suffered from pandemic shutdowns and ongoing street construction, and to rediscover the murals.
Emily Hoyle, marketing director for Pabst Brewing Company, which owns Lone Star Beer, lives in nearby Tobin Hill and said the Strip seemed an ideal place to highlight the work SASAI has done in the neighborhood. The sponsorship includes not only the block party, but will help support future murals.
“For us, it was an organic evolution of our relationship,” Hoyle said, mentioning the recently produced mural by San Antonio painter Matt Tumlinson that features Lone Star’s longstanding relationship with “cosmic cowboy” music culture.
Lone Star’s Senior Brand Manager Daniel Crawford agreed. “We see [SASAI] as such a great partner to celebrate the culture of San Antonio and honor what they do to foster the arts and make our city beautiful, cool and fun,” he said.
Vega said that SASAI has so far helped 46 street artists develop viable careers as makers of public and private murals, and looks forward to continuing its mission during and after the block party.
“For the short time that we’ve been around, the number of artists we’ve touched and how we’ve seen some of them grow has been really rewarding, and we look forward to continue growing,” Vega said.