The Austin Tejano Trails has been a labor of love for a dedicated group of volunteers committed to preserving the history, diversity, and cultural assets in East Austin.
This sculpture honors the deep musical traditions and cultural contributions of the Perez and Ramos families, represented by the brothers Ruben and Ernest Perez, and Alfonso and Ruben Ramos. Arismendi portrays the Perez brothers playing the saxophone and the Ramos brothers engaged in song. The performers each led their own orchestra or band, and are joined by two curvilinear “stage structures” to symbolize the link between the two families. The vertical supports represent curtains on the side of the stage and a curving cut metal pattern based on a modified treble clef sits at the top and holds the names of these great families.
Austin is a music town through and through. Country, folk, rock, punk, hip-hop all have their hands in the musical brew that permeates every corner of the city. There are music legends that everyone knows. The stories of Townes van Zandt and Willie Nelson prowling the stages of Hole in the Wall and the Broken Spoke are legendary. What is sometimes overlooked is the rich tradition and towering artistic legacy of Tejano music in the capital city. Tejano or “Tex-Mex” music is a diverse mix of musical artforms that coalesced in south Texas and northern Mexico.
To honor the memory of this great musical art form, the City of Austin installed five outdoor structures dedicated to specific artists but also to shine a light on the Tejano music scene in general and its broad artistic influence on the Capital City. The imposing metal sculpture is the work of renowned artist Connie Arismendi. The sculpture sits in the beautiful courtyard of the Mexican American Center. Be sure to stop and take in the beauty of the greenbelt and Lady Bird Lake while at the Center.
Cover photo credit: SarahMagda via Flickr