‘If These Walls Could Talk’: Murals at San Antonio’s airport do more than beautify space

Murals located in long-term parking lot also help guide passengers

SAN ANTONIO – In the midst of the holiday travel hustle and bustle, San Antonio passengers have a reason to slow down and take in the sights.

A series of murals that decorate some of the walls inside San Antonio International Airport’s long-term parking facility offer a visual escape.

“We have six different artists that created five different concepts that were all highly unique,” said Matt Evans, the airport’s Arts and Culture manager.

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The artwork, which adorns the area outside the elevators of the parking structure, includes painted pictures of San Antonio staples.

This intricate painting gives a realistic look to this giant concha. (KSAT 12 News)

For example, one features a super-sized pan dulce, while another includes tiny outlines of the Tower of the Americas and The Alamo hidden among a colorful background.

Evans says the murals were part of a 2019 marketing campaign aimed at local residents and completed in partnership with San Antonio Street Art Initiative.

“We were coming out of summer travel and looking toward holiday travel of that year,” Evans said. “We wanted to remind people that we have a very easily accessible and convenient long-term parking garage.”

Putting the paintings onto the walls wasn’t exactly easy work.

The surface, itself, had to be prepared first.

Then there was a matter of scheduling, timing the work to be done during the airport’s off hours.

“We had to do this overnight when traffic was less,” Evans said. “We had to shut down one elevator bay and redirect people and have golf carts provided.”

All told, he says, the project took about two weeks to complete.

However, it took only a couple days for the artists to finish their paintings, Evans said.

What looks like just a colorful pattern actually has tiny drawings of San Antonio's iconic locales, such as as the Tower of the Americas, within it. (KSAT 12 News)

He says while the main goal was to beautify the area, the murals also serve another purpose—to help travelers navigate what can be a confusing space.

They act as memory markers to help them find their vehicles.

“So folks can remember after a week away on vacation, ‘Hey, I think we parked, was it level 2 or level 3? I can’t remember, but it definitely had a big concha on the way out,’” Evans said, laughing.

The murals make up only a portion of the artwork in and around the airport.

There are sculptures and paintings within the terminals and car rental building.

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.

Azian Bermea is a photojournalist at KSAT.

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