El Veterano: Mr. Trevino's Neighborhood

“La Historia Chicana,” Our Lady of the Lake
University (1974)

411 SW 24th St., Our Lady of the Lake campus,
Sueltenfuss Library 

This majestic wall mural encircling the Sueltenfuss Library is generally acknowledged to be the first grand-scale work executed by Treviño after the loss of his right hand. This new-lefty (in all senses) epic visually synthesizes familia, faith, and symbols of both el movimiento and Old Glory in a lyrical style that references Orozco, Siquieros, and Rivera, and ignited the imagination of a young Vincent Valdez. Treviño earned his BA and garnered an honorary doctorate from OLLU. 

“Imagenes de Mi Pueblo,” Wells Fargo Bank
(formerly Kelly Field Bank) (1982)

707 Castroville Rd. 

Missions and marketplace, ethos and commerce, architecture and terrain, history, and hope all unite in this enormous narrative wall mural inside what is now a Wells Fargo branch. Significantly, the building once housed Kelly National Bank, a financial institution patronized primarily by Kelly Air Force Base workers (see “No Te Acabes,” page TK). This mural serves as a reminder of where, when, and from whom those Kelly workers, many new to an emerging Chicano middle-class, arose, and places this new wave of economic opportunity squarely on the historical map.

“Spirit of Healing,” Santa Rosa Hospital (1997)

333 Santa Rosa St. 

Nine stories high and comprising more than 150,000 pieces of hand-cut tile (an estimated 100,000 of which were cut by Jesse Treviño himself), this mural was commissioned by Christus Santa Rosa on a leap of faith with little idea of what it would cost, and was erected with significant help from students and community volunteers. The child depicted is based on Treviño’s own son, Jesse, and the comforting (if, significantly, broken-winged) angel is modeled on his late sister Eva. (Fun fact: In the photograph from which young Jesse’s likeness is taken, he’s cradling not a pair of doves, but a hedgehog.)

“La Curandera,” Texas Diabetes Institute (1999)

701 S. Zarzamora 

With diabetes twice as prevalent in the Mexican-American community than in either the U.S. Anglo population or in Mexico — it’s estimated by the Diabetes Monitor (diabetesmonitor.com) that 25 to 30 percent of Mexican-Americans age 50 and older are diabetic — Treviño’s moralistic homage to 1950s-era medicinal arts in this state-of-the-art facility is both thoughtful and timely. The wise Latina manning the counter surrounded by traditional remedies is based on an actual practitioner in a downtown botanica, and serves as a reminder that health care is more than a right; it’s a tradición.

“La Veladora of Our Lady of Guadalupe,” Guadalupe Cultural Arts Center (2006)

1301 Guadalupe St.

Treviño constructed this 40-foot veladora in honor of those lost in the 9/11 attacks. La Virgen de Guadalupe is the patron saint of the Americas and a symbol of compassion, social justice, the power of the feminine, and the spiritual equality of people of color. Treviño’s massive, three-dimensional veladora, which contains an eternal flame, ranks as the largest Virgin Mary mosaic in the world, and is said by Treviño to have been designed to last at least 500 years.


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