The mission of the Arbol de la Vida: Voces de Tierra project is to celebrate San Antonio’s ranching heritage through the eyes of the community. This true community public art project will bring the San Antonio community together to artistically help carve and give form to our shared story. Made by the community for the community, this iconic sculpture will celebrate our world heritage site of San Francisco de la Espada, and bring focus to the rich natural and cultural environment that surrounds it. The sculpture will enrich the lives of the people of San Antonio and enhance the makeup of its diverse community one story at a time for many future generations to come.
“Margarita’s work, which has been rapidly gaining national attention, provides a wonderful addition to San Antonio’s Mission Reach collection” stated Robert Amerman SARF’s Executive Director. “As a regional Latina artist with depth in local San Antonio projects via her Artpace residency, Margarita’s collaboration-‐ based projects continue to extend and enhance our discussions surrounding the manifest strengths found in our layered culture. Margarita’s work serves as a bridge and an embrace.”
Why Ranching History?
Mission San Francisco de la Espadais currently understood as the only Spanish colonial mission in the United States which maintains contact with its original ranching operation: Rancho de las Cabras. Texas’ ranching legacy can be attributed to the initial efforts of the mission ranches. The rancho’s ruins and pastures can be found approximately 30 miles south of San Antonio in Floresville, TX. Tours of this property are currently by reservation only via the National ParkService.
Mission San Francisco de la Espada is administered by San Antonio Missions National Historical Park. Mission Espada, within San Antonio Missions National Historical Park, is the subject of an online lesson plan produced by Teaching with Historic Places. This lesson plan thematically ties the Mission’s history to its ranching origins. Teaching with Historic Places is a National Register program that offers classroom-‐ready lesson plans on properties listed in the National Register.