What started out as a simple chalk and acrylic ground mural being created by a professor and her students last December expanded to the people of the community and has become vibrant example of how the university and the City of Kingsville can work together on projects.
The “Virgen de Guadalupe” Ground Mural was dedicated Monday, Feb. 4, with presentations from Texas A&M University-Kingsville President Steven Tallant and officials from the City of Kingsville.
To celebrate La Virgen de Guadalupe, the patron saint of the Americans and in particular Mexicans and Mexican-Americans, Art Professor Santa Barraza, created a mural on the corner of Lee and 6th Street near downtown Kingsville.
The piece, made out of a variety of artistic mediums, was part of one of three events to show admiration in celebration of La Virgen de Guadalupe on Dec. 12, Barraza said.
“Her image is a symbol of empowerment not just for women, but for being the mother of the creator,” Barraza said. “La Virgen de Guadalupe brought the community together to come help create her.”
La Virgen de Guadalupe is an iconic religious figure in the Roman Catholic belief and is an icon of the Virgin Mary.
La Virgen appeared in Mexico City on Dec. 9, 1531 to Juan Diego. She asked Juan Diego to create a temple in her honor. Diego immediately recognized her as the Virgin Mary and soon went to the archbishop and told his story and the request of the temple, but they would not build it unless he had proof that she was the Virgen. La Virgen instructed Diego to gather flowers from the top of a hill in December when it was too cold for flowers to grow. Diego gathered roses which La Virgen arranged in his cloak. When Juan Diego opened the cloak before the Bishop on Dec. 12, the flowers fell to the floor, and in their place was the image of the Virgin of Guadalupe, imprinted on the fabric, which is now an iconic image, said Barraza.
“Miracles have happened since we started working on the image,” Barraza said. “Local people and myself experienced smelling the scent of roses when none were around.” Roses, she said, are associated with the Viregn.
Also a young girl came to visit the mural, she prayed that her mother would get out of jail and following day she did, they experienced a miracle.”
Local artist and volunteer, Daniel Quella said many people from the community and students from the university have come to pray, cry, and admire the mural.
“They have come to love and believe in her and the miracles that she has given them,” Quella said. “She is the ties for the city to the creator and heavenly father.”
“La Virgen inspires people, I don’t think, I know she does,” said photographer and volunteer Juan Lopez. “People have come to admire La Virgen, there is a lot of faith in her in the city of Kingsville.”