Best known for its wide variety of coastal recreation, Corpus Christi comprises more than just outdoor activities. Its history and influence of Hispanic culture cultivated a thriving art scene that continues to grow today. Its flourishing arts community includes painters, sculptors, musicians and photographers.
Dr. Clotilde P. Garcia Spanish Colonial Gallery made a name for itself as the first permanent exhibit in the Art Museum of South Texas which, showcasing Spanish colonial, pre-Columbian and contemporary art. The gallery also features frescoes from Antonio E. Garcia, a Mexican-American artist whose influence the local art community continues to feel. Every third Thursday of the month, the museum offers visitors free admission to admire the work of local creatives while listening to live music.
Corpus Christi serves as home to the Art Museum of South Texas. Here, visitors can witness the more than 1,800 pieces featured in the museum’s permanent collection (not all on view at one time), as well as the beauty of the museum’s bayfront shellcrete exterior, designed by Philip Johnson and Ricardo Legorreta.
On the first Friday of every month in downtown Corpus Christi, ArtWalk hosts gallery openings, vendors and artists. ArtWalk features live music, food and drinks for visitors and locals to enjoy while strolling through the vendors and galleries. Take home a piece of unique art or a piece of clothing from Sew Bonita. Here, local business owner and artisan Elena Flores showcases sewn items and one-of-a-kind apparel reflecting her Mexican heritage.
Corpus Christi was one of the first cities in Texas to enact the Percent of Art Program, a program incorporating art into the design of the city’s civic spaces and capital projects to allow visitors and locals to admire public art. Head to Marina Arts District to witness the colorful and vibrant murals and art installations. All commissioned by local artists, visitors can find artwork not only on walls but also on electrical boxes.
Many of the pieces convey greater messages, such as the mural “Breath of Fresh Air” by Jeremy Flores, depicting a Kemp’s ridley sea turtle to honor the annual sea turtle releases. Other informative pieces appear on street signs with the message “sea level rise zone” or “this block will be underwater in 2050” to raise awareness on climate change on the coastal environment. Professor and artist Joshua Duttweiler created these pieces to inspire change.
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