SAN ANTONIO (May 12, 2021) – The Alamo is front and center in San Antonio artist Andy Benavides’ 2021 Fiesta Poster design. Radiating from a miniature silhouette of the Shrine of Texas Liberty is a rainbow-like corona in vivid hues of pulsating green, yellow, red and blue ascending to a starry, purple papel picado cut-out design. A native of San Antonio who grew up hearing all the stories, folklore, history and opinions about the Alamo, pro and con, Benavides wanted his design to be rooted in history but reflective of the city in the 21st century.
“From the classic 1960 John Wayne flick where they got it completely wrong to the infinite amount of stories and folklore that seem to always be conflicting, I wanted to keep the design simple and to the point,” Benavides said. “Previous poster designs I found always had an Alamo element, but often under the shadow of festive design ingredients. Based on what I learned, the Battle of the Alamo was the inspiration for the first Battle of Flowers in 1891.”
Benavides said he was inspired by today’s universal appeal of Fiesta, which has grown into a world-famous, city-wide celebration, not to mention the city’s biggest fund-raiser for non-profits.
“Fiesta for me is about color, be it the people, decor or the attire of those who attend. In this case color was my go-to as a representation of celebration. I’ve noticed that people forget their differences and who they are or aren’t and what they look like under the magic of Fiesta. Fiesta is truly an all-inclusive event,” Benavides said.
But he didn’t use a random selection of colors. Each radiating band of the Alamo’s rainbow reflects an element in Fiesta’s origin. “The Battle of the Alamo lasted 13 days, hence the 13 purple flowers within the corona reference; flowers because they can be for a funeral or a celebration, but ultimately a sign of hope and rejuvenation,” Benavides said. “The radiating colors total 18, which are intended to represent the 18-minute battle of San Jacinto. A battle comes with tragedy, so it was important for me to represent this event in a celebration of colors that emit the same magic a rainbow celebrates after a rain. This color celebration was for lives lost and those that lived to tell that story.”
The purple papel picado is his reference and homage to the royalty of a stoic culture. “A complementary yellow background is intended to represent sunshine, hope, and happiness,” he said. “All of the colors together are intended to be an acknowledgement of history and the resiliency of culture and humanity. Finally, our center stage design element, The Alamo, is brown as a historic note to the cultural origin of this story that has been mistakenly told through our history and folklore.”
The Alamo, or rather the shrine’s ability to attract millions of tourists to the city, also inspired Benavides to dedicate himself to growing San Antonio’s art community. With a degree in advertising art from the University of North Texas in Denton, he worked as a designer/illustrator for a Dallas advertising agency before deciding three decades ago to return to his hometown and begin his career as an artist.
Benavides said he’s happy to be able to check off his bucket list being the 2021 Fiesta poster artist. “Overall, Fiesta is a great event that our city celebrates responsibly and I’m proud to be part of a city that embraces diversity and culture,” Benavides said. “We are unique to the rest of the world and I’m confident that Fiesta will live on through its all-inclusive energy well into the future. Let’s just say that my poster with its rainbow of colors should be the rainbow that will lead our city’s event through this pandemic and into a future of unity, growth and, of course, my personal favorites, arts and culture.”
The Official 2021 poster and poster merchandise (t-shirts, limited edition medal, and more) are available online (www.fiestasanantonio.org) and at The Fiesta Store® beginning at 10:30 am on Thursday, May 13, 2021. The only official Fiesta Store benefitting the nonprofit Fiesta San Antonio is located at 2611 Broadway, San Antonio, Texas 78215 and hours of operation are Monday – Thursday, 10:30 am – 4 pm, Friday, 10:30 am – 1 pm, and Saturday, 10 am – 2 pm.
To access an image of the Official 2021 Fiesta Poster and portrait of the poster artist, you can visit the Media Toolbox here.
For more information, visit www.fiestasanantonio.org. Fiesta 2021 takes place June 17-27! Viva Fiesta!