As a San Antonio native, filmmaker Jim Mendiola knows a lot about the traditions of Fiesta. He proved that recently, when he met Artpace’s new director, Amada Cruz.
“I asked Amada if she was looking forward to Fiesta. She didn’t really know anything about it, so I told her about various aspects of Fiesta, one of those being the practice of giving out medals. The next day I got a call asking me to design the first Artpace medal,” Mendiola told the Current.
Mendiola partnered with Rubén Ortiz-Torres, with whom he collaborated on his 2001 Artpace residency project, which commemorated an urban myth involving rocker Ozzy Osbourne and the Alamo — and honors the city’s status as the Heavy Metal Music Capital of the US.
"We wanted to make a medal that stood out visually, one that incorporated the art sensibility of Artpace, and yet still fit in the tradition of San Antonio Fiesta medals," says Mendiola. "For our Artpace residency project, Rubén and I played around with the mythology of Ozzy Osbourne, the Alamo—and a bat. Google it. And we also wanted to play around with the fact that San Antonio is a heavy metal town. Proudly so. We combined all of that and came up with what we hope is fun, unique, and different take on Fiesta. We call it the Metal Medal."
Available Monday, April 22, in a limited release from Artpace. For info, go here.