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Explore resources on researching about art as well as how to enjoy and make art, including information about art in the Library
Last Updated: Apr 21, 2016 URL: Print Guide RSS UpdatesEmail Alerts

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Central Architecture

Ricardo Legorreta was influential in creating a bright and vibrant symbol of our Library System through the design of the Central Library.  Here you will find articles on his architecture.


Architecture as Art

Several of our branches are works of art in themselves. 

Have you visited these branches for a different perspective on books?

Landa Library 2008 Building

Landa Library
233 Bushnell
SAT 78212
(210) 732-8369 (also TTY)

San Pedro Park Library 2008

San Pedro Branch Library 

1315 San Pedro Ave.
SAT 78212
(210) 733-1454 
(also TTY)


Art at the Branches

Come enjoy art amongst the book shelves of the following libraries.

“The Brook and the Hollow” by Jack Robbins
Location: Brook Hollow Library, Children's Area

A fabricated pop-up tree and vine.

By Twyla Arthur
Location: Great Northwest Library, interior

A tile mosaic floor treatment creates a flowing "river" from the entryway and through the building past a landscape mural, ending in a mosaic pool or in the children's area.

By Henry Stein
Location: Guerra Library, Main Lobby Area

Mixed-media project consisting of a series of artist-fabricated panels. Each panel is composed of a grid-like pattern that contains images and made-objects that reference the library's connection to Kelly and aviation, as well as referring to the library's namesake, Henry Guerra.

"Windmill Signifier" by James Hetherington
Location: Igo Library, exterior

Working 40-foot windmill of galvanized steel greets visitors and goes well with the rustic architecture and rural surroundings. This non-traditional hybrid windmill will harvest power from the intermittent wind source and, through a generator, provide supplemental power to a small water pump, allowing the water to flow down a channel and through the building to a water basin.

By Henry Rayburn
Location: Maverick Library, exterior

The design enhancement builds on and elaborates the architects' early design ideas while bringing his own talents and experience with collages and artistic use of letterforms to the design. Rayburn's design successfully expresses the combination of the physical structure of the building and the library's goal of developing an interaction with the natural park built across the street.

Grand Opening - Mission Library 2011By Chris Sauter
Location: Mission Library; Interior, entrance and courtyard

A mixed-media mural hanging in the library “metaphorically illustrates the deep stretch of geological history that lies beneath the grounds”. There are also two outdoor sculptures resembling “core samples” of the library grounds—one is located by the entrance and projects the library’s name onto the library; the other is located in the courtyard and seeps water into what looks like the hole from which it came.

Parman Library 2011Stone Oak Shadows By Peter Zubiate
Location: Parman Library at Stone Oak; Interior



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Art at the Library

Come enjoy art among the bookshelves at the Central Library 



Fiesta Tower by Dale Chihuly 

Location: Central Library, 2nd Floor 

This sculpture commemorates our 100th anniversary as a library system. During the 2009-2010 Weatherization Project, the 917 glass pieces were packed away so this beautiful sculpture would not be affected by construction. The glass pieces have been carefully reinstalled on the metal framework by a project team led by John Landon of JDL Design.  Dale Chihuly's studio has completed more than 100 public installations around the world - we encourage you to learn more about his art by checking out the books below. 

Find Books on Dale Chihuly

Blue Room

Blue Room by Stephen Antonakos
Location: Central Library entrance 

The Blue Room is a neon-art installation which greets visitors to the Library. Antonakos wanted the Blue Room to clearly establish a change of setting from people's daily rushing in and out of buildings. The room is designed to provide a calm, cool and inviting entrance to the Library. 

Find Books on Stephen Antonakos

Days by Jesse Amado
Location: Central Library entrance

The public artwork commemorates the life of Linda Pace, an artist, collector and philanthropist, who founded Artpace San Antonio, an international laboratory for the creation and advancement of contemporary art.  Each of the 22,722 crystals represents one day in her life, and the pieces were assembled over several weeks. Because the subconscious was such an important element of Pace's art, the crystals were chosen randomly. "This placement within the window will allow an exterior view of the work as well as an interior one and will serve as a metaphor for the outer and inner being of sources – the internal and external, the physical and metaphysical, the body and the spirit," said Amado.

Caballo Tamaño Grande by Fernando Botero 
Location: Central Library, 1st Floor Lobby 

Considered Latin America’s most famous and most beloved artist, Fernando Botero is a painter, sculptor, and draftsman who is known for rounded playful forms and political art. His prolific work is exhibited in public spaces and galleries, and has inspired, challenged and delighted viewers. 

Find Books On Fernando Botero

17 Moovelous Young Voices by Jefferson High School 
Location: Central Library Children's Collection, 3rd Floor 

The Young Voices cow was created by the students of the Thomas Jefferson High School Fine Arts Program and given to the library by a group of anonymous donors. Each of the 17 Jefferson High School students who worked on the art piece is represented through the handmade tiles on the body of the cow. This art piece helps symbolize the library system’s commitment to San Antonio’s youth as well as its pledge to support public art and visual literacy.

Orchid by Rogelio Madero
de la Peña
Location: Central Library, 5th Floor interior balcony 

Rogelio Madero de la Peña is a Mexican sculptor who is known for the largest Christian sculpture in the world, El Manto de la Virgen. De La Peña creates monumental abstract sculpture in iron and small-scale sculpture in other metals. His name is synonymous with art, metal and heart. Orchid is an abstract bronze sculpture with three polished curved shapes representing petals raised on a textured triangular base.

Axis Mundi by Sebastian 
Location: Central Library, 1st Floor New Book Area 

Sebastian is a renowned Mexico City artist that works with geometric forms in materials of steel, aluminum and cardboard. Axis Mundi was created by the artist especially for the Library. Sebastian is also the sculptor of the downtown Torch of Friendship and other local works. 

Find Books on Sebastian

Mural by Jesse Treviño 
Location: Central Library, 1st Floor Auditorium Foyer 

Treviño is known for his photo-realistic paintings of San Antonio's Westside community. Treviño was commissioned to create a 36-foot mural for the library. The mural is like a time capsule of San Antonio during World War II. It features marquees from local movie houses and the city's largest retail establishments. The altar is another element of the mural, and it is a tribute to those who served in the war. It includes familiar items such as candles, flowers and photos. The photos commemorate all individuals who participated in the war. However, some of the people represent famous San Antonians. The woman featured is a likeness of Emma Tenayuca, leader of a labor movement in the late 30's and early 40's, the Hispanic man is World War II Medal of Honor recipient Cleto Rodriguez. The young Anglo male is a likeness of Retired General Robert McDermott when he was a Cadet.
Exhibit 2008 Central Chicano Art Mexicano, Chicano, Americano by Jesse Treviño 
Location: Central Library, 1st Floor New Book Area 

Jesse Treviño’s three-panel self-portrait represents the artist through aspects of his personal relationship with the 1960s. Mexicano is symbolized by the colors of the Mexican flag and an image of Our Lady of Guadalupe. A black Aztec eagle synonymous with César Chávez’s United Farm Workers Movement represents Chicano. The artist’s military service in Vietnam is reflected in the Purple Heart medal heraldry and representative colors of the U.S. flag in Americano.

Central Library Art Gallery 
Location: 1st Floor, near the auditorium 

The Art Gallery is open with current exhibits that feature local artists and our community partners. We're also right across the street from the Southwest School of Art. 

If you are interested in nearby galleries and the downtown art scene, you may wish to check out the Office of Cultural Affairs Arts Calendar on the Art Appreciation page. 


Grecian Beach Rider II


by Dr. Amy Freeman Lee 

Location: 3rd Floor

Dr. Amy Freeman Lee was an educator, artist and author. The Children's department at the Central Library is dedicated to Dr. Lee. From 1941 until 2004 Dr. Lee served as Chair of the Judges Committee for the Young Pegasus Poetry Competition.


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