(SAN ANTONIO) – Brooks unveiled “SUN MOUNTAIN” – a public art piece honoring late U.S. Congressman Frank Tejeda – in a special ceremony today. Brooks’ stakeholders, elected officials, local artist Cruz Ortiz and members of the Tejeda family gathered to dedicate the sculpture, located on the corner of Aviation Landing and City Base Landing.

“My father would tell us as he once said in a speech to Congress: ‘…nowhere in the nation will you find people that love or are more involved in their community than in San Antonio,” said Tejeda’s daughter,Marissa.

Crafted by Ortiz, “Sun Mountain” aims to visually represent Tejeda as a force of nature whose presencebrought light to the City of San Antonio. The massive solid metal sculpture measures 20-feet across by 40-feet tall and incorporates metal letters from the sign that stood at the entrance of what was previously the Frank J. Tejeda Complex at Brooks Air Force Base, a nod to how Tejeda’s legacy has been an influential force throughout San Antonio for more than 20 years. The sculpture’s tri-fold construction incorporates three large slits in the metal, allowing for sunlight to pass through. Based on the position of the sun, the sculpture will cast shadows that shift on the ground, creating leading light lines on its base.

“This piece embodies the mountain of a man that Frank Tejeda was,” said Ortiz. “I live and work on theSouthside and whenever I ask community members about Frank Tejeda they reflect on the great legacy he left. They talk about how he was a golden gloves boxing champion, a family man, a war hero andhow he represented them in Washington, D.C.”

Born and raised on the Southside, Tejeda was a fully decorated Marine and politician who dedicated his life to the betterment of the region. During his political career, Tejeda served in the Texas House of Representatives, the Texas Senate, and the U.S. House of Representatives spearheading efforts to spureconomic development on the Southside while advocating for veteran’s and the men and women ofthe armed services. Tejeda played a pivotal role in the creation of Brooks Development Authority, developing a plan to privatize and transition Brooks Air Force Base from a military installation into a mixed-use community and economic engine for the Southside. He passed away in 1997 following a year-long battle with brain cancer.

“Frank Tejeda’s impact on his Southside is immeasurable,” said Brooks President & CEO Leo Gomez. “He was instrumental in passing the legislation that created Brooks Development Authority, allowing us to turn the former base into the job creating community we know today. It is only fitting that wehonor a monumental man, with this monumental work of art.”

Brooks continues its investment in public art on campus with “Sun Mountain” standing as the third public art installation on campus. A tribute to 9/11, “Never Forget” is located outside the City/CountyEmergency Operations Center. Located at the heart of The Greenline, the 35-foot tall “Running with the Moon” sculpture celebrates the visionaries and dreamers who helped create Brooks and issurrounded by a series of eight cast stainless steel butterflies. Additional artwork, including ceramic pieces by local artist Diana Kersey, are due to be unveiled on campus later this year.


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