Art as research and research as art: the Guadalupe Cultural Arts Center (GCAC) Y Su Veladora
The Guadalupe Cultural Arts Center is an ethnic specific cultural institution that serves as a cultural broker that facilitates visual communication via public art. This project analyzes the large mosaic sponsored by the organization in the Westside of San Antonio titled La Veladora of Our Lady Guadalupe by Jesse Treviño. Experimental methods were employed to communicate the results of the research visually. The work concluded in the production of ten original paintings that reflect the emergent themes of the research, bicultural ritualistic practice, and the contemporary cultural use of the Virgen de Guadalupe in a secular public space. This process enables the production of an art experience that engages an audience and transmits information. The research found that GCAC maintains a visual presence in the cultural economy of San Antonio. By way of the production of public art, they facilitate communication between cultures. The GCAC also serves as a role model that shapes behavior that inspires change within the community. Through the use of culturally charged imagery in public art, the organization establishes its presence as a secular temple of artistic production.