SAC Dedicates Artwork to Remember Those Who Have Passed
On a cool but sunny morning, dozens of members from the San Antonio College community assembled on the SAC Mall behind the Fletcher Administration Center. They gathered to take part in the unveiling of an artwork dedicated to remember members of the SAC family who have passed away.
The artwork is a memorial bench created by Louis Lopez, an internationally known artist who is also a neighbor of SAC and who has created other artworks on the campus. He created the memorial bench in close collaboration with officers in SAC's Student Government Association (SGA).
Dr. Robert Vela, president of SAC, welcomed the audience who attended the ceremony and explained that the SGA first approached him with the idea of creating a space where people could come and remember SAC members, especially students, who have passed away.
"We want to have something special on our college where we can reflect, pray, mediate, or just take time out of our busy schedule to remember our lost loved ones," recalled Vela about what the SGA said when they approached him.
Vela advised the students to contact Lopez and work with him to create an artwork to serve as a memorial.
"I was humbled by the opportunity I was given," Lopez said to the crowd. After several brainstorming sessions with the students, Lopez came with the idea for the memorial bench.
"I created a piece that was powerful, aesthetically correct, and practical," he said of the artwork.
Dr. Vela, Lopez, SGA president Kayla Salwey, as well as former SGA president Harley Williams and former historian Quintin Longoria, unveiled the artwork revealing an aluminum bench adorned with swallows taking flight.
The bench rests among a small grove of pine trees. Sunlight filters through tree branches and add highlights to the birds' wings. At night, a circle of small lights will illuminate a disc in the middle of the bench to symbolize the moon.
Lopez said he was inspired by the idea that memories are treasures that come back when people take the time to reflect. He used the image of swallows,
in Spanish, to symbolize loved ones who return if only in memories, an idea he derived from the poem
by the poet Gustavo Adolfo Béquer.
At the end of the dedication, yellow carnations where handed out and people were encouraged to leave them on the bench as the first memorial to the lives of those who are gone but who are not forgotten.