AN EXHIBITION at
a message from the art of the sacred texas springs co-coordinator, susan dunis
The Art of the Sacred Texas Springs is the latest artistic partnership between Gregg Eckhardt and myself. In 2013, we collaborated with Dunis Studios and the San Antonio Water System to create a large scale tile mural for the Briscoe Museum on the River Walk. The mural features a panoramic history of water in San Antonio, illustrating how water has connected people and cultures through time. Later, we collaborated with the Indigenous Cultures Institute to create a series of narrative paintings of the Texas Sacred Springs. These paintings illustrate a Native American family on a Sacred Springs Pilgrimage about 4,000 years ago -- visiting and honoring Barton Springs, San Marcos Springs, Comal Springs, San Antonio Springs, and San Pedro Springs.
For the Art of the Sacred Texas Springs exhibition, Eckhardt and I connected with artists who believe in the spiritual power of the Sacred Springs, and who wish to celebrate and recognize the springs. The resulting art now forms a unique and powerful exhibition to raise awareness of the Springs as a source of spirituality, and to help support the magnificent work and devotion of Headwaters at Incarnate Word. The Headwaters nonprofit loves and protects the sacred ground of the Blue Hole at San Antonio Springs, and are preserving and continuing the legacy of the Sacred Springs.
a message from our executive director, Alex scott antram
Headwaters at Incarnate Word is grateful for the many artists and community members coming together to contribute to the Art of the Sacred Texas Springs exhibition. A portion of any art sales will be donated to support our 501c3 nonprofit. We work to preserve and celebrate the rich history of these headwaters, home to the Blue Hole, source spring of the San Antonio River. The Blue Hole is the start of the San Antonio River, and is also known as Yanaguana—great spirit waters—to the indigenous people that lived here at the time of colonization. As recently as the mid19th century, before San Antonio’s population boomed, Yanaguana was a geyser reaching 20 feet into the air. The Blue Hole joins Comal Springs, San Marcos Springs, and Barton Springs as one of the four sacred fountain springs of Texas. These four great springs issue from a common water source, the vast Edwards Aquifer, and give rise to the rivers that have sustained human communities in South Central Texas for over 12,000 years. Increasingly, the Edwards Aquifer is tapped for our region’s human water needs. In times of drought or overuse there is not enough pressure to keep the Blue Hole flowing. There is desperate need for water conservation in our region to maintain not simply Yanaguana, but also our diverse ecological and spiritual communities. We recognize art as a medium through which people can access the cultural significance of sacred environments. Because of this, the artists of this exhibition used water as inspiration in creating works that celebrate the connection between local people and the natural world. Headwaters at Incarnate Word ‘s mission as an organization is to reconnect people to the Earth, and to each other, through community education, ecological restoration, and by providing a space of quiet reflection in a bustling urban environment. We are indebted to these artists for lending their talents to keep the creative energy of Yanaguana flowing even when our growing consumption of water causes the spring to run dry. Headwaters at incarnate Word is a ministry of the Sisters of Charity of the Incarnate Word and the only nature sanctuary in the heart of San Antonio.