‘If These Walls Could Talk’: Married real estate developers working to merge living spaces with artwork

Gerardo and Paulina Ituarte giving Near East Side a new look

SAN ANTONIO – A husband and wife team is working to make a different kind of marriage work – the union between living spaces and art work.

Every property that Gerardo and Paulina Ituarte develop on San Antonio’s near East side is getting a few fresh coats of paint in the form of murals.

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“We’ve been in art our whole lives. We love art,” said Paulina Ituarte. “I feel like all the colors bring light to my life.”

“Art” also happens to be part of their name.

Ituarte contains the Spanish word for art, “arte.”

Their company also is called Artz Development.

The couple, who lives in one of their newly developed properties, said their goal is to beautify homes in their own way throughout the neighborhood.

They say that area including, Montana and Pine streets, had fallen into disrepair.

“You see people now walking more on the streets, you know, just coming here and taking pictures, seeing the murals,” said Gerardo Ituarte, of the response to their work.

A building on Pine Street features the work of a first-time muralist. (KSAT 12 News)

To date, the couple has installed ten murals and three sculptures on its properties.

They say they hired only new and first-time local artists in the hope of also giving them a chance to use their talents in a public way.

In fact, they say one property currently under construction in the 800 block of Montana will be geared toward artists, giving them a place to live and work.

“The whole concept is to have a cultural courtyard for the community,” said Gerardo, pointing out some of the features of the soon-to-be apartment complex.

While all the properties so far have been residential, he says his plan is to develop commercial properties as well, including stores and restaurants, to serve people who live there.

“Part of the vision is to make this a walkable place,” he said. “And yes, there are more projects coming in which we will keep on adding this public art.”

They expect the Montana Street artist apartments to be completed by the end of the year.

About the Authors

Katrina Webber joined KSAT 12 in December 2009. She reports for Good Morning San Antonio. Katrina was born and raised in Queens, NY, but after living in Gulf Coast states for the past decade, she feels right at home in Texas. It's not unusual to find her singing karaoke or leading a song with her church choir when she's not on-air.

Tim has been a photojournalist and video editor at KSAT since 1998. He came to San Antonio from Lubbock, where he worked in TV and earned his bachelor's degree in Electronic Media and Communication from Texas Tech University. Tim has won a handful of awards and has earned a master's in Strategic Communication and Innovation from Tech as well.

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