San Antonio artist Andy Benavides wins open call for 50-foot Spurs mural

The project comes with a $100,000 honorarium, which Benavides will use to cover the cost of creating one of downtown's highest-profile pieces of public art.

click to enlarge The new mural will celebrate the city's longtime love for the San Antonio Spurs. - San Antonio Spurs
San Antonio Spurs
The new mural will celebrate the city's longtime love for the San Antonio Spurs.
Visual artist and educator Andy Benavides has won an open call to create a 50-foot mural downtown celebrating the San Antonio Spurs — and the Alamo City native will collect a $100,000 honorarium as part of the deal.

Benavides, who's also known for consulting on projects including San Pedro Creek Culture Park, secured the project through an open call released last month by Centro San Antonio, a local nonprofit that promotes living and working downtown. Issued through Centro's Art Everywhere initiative, the honorarium will pay Benavides for the supplies, time and labor needed to execute the massive creation.

The Spurs-themed mural on the side of the Houston Street Garage, 111 College Street, will stand 50 feet high and 15 feet wide, making it one of the center city's largest and most prominent pieces of public art. It's intended to commemorate the city's 50-year love affair with its NBA franchise.

“Notification of winning this decision was beyond words, and the emotions were off the chart!” Benavides said in a statement. “As it is now and forever will be, the San Antonio Spurs are our team 'por vida.’”

The project — whose open call drew national attention — is part of Centro's Art Everywhere Project, which has installed more than 140 creative works since its 2020 launch. The initiative commissions local artists to add their creative flourishes to empty urban windows and wall spaces.

Benavides was one of three semifinalists on the project and his initial design is now undergoing review by the Spurs and other stakeholders, according to Centro officials. He's expected to start work on the mural Nov. 1 and wrap it up by Dec. 1.

Centro officials wouldn't discuss specifics of Benavides' design but say they expect to hold a public unveiling before the mural begins to take shape.

“The response we received was truly overwhelming and reaffirms the deep support and admiration that our city and community hold for our Spurs,” Centro San Antonio CEO Trish DeBerry said in a statement. “The Art Everywhere initiative has consistently offered opportunities for local artists, and I'm absolutely thrilled with the collaborative effort between our team and the Spurs in selecting the winning muralist."

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Sanford Nowlin

Sanford Nowlin is editor-in-chief of the San Antonio Current.

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