Trail of Tejano Legends: Tenderly
AIPP commissioned artist, Connie Arismendi, through competitive selection to create permanent public artworks for the Roy Montelongo Scenic Overlook, Nash Hernandez Sr. Road, and Perez and Ramos Plaza along the Trail of Tejano Legends. Working primarily with aqua jet cut aluminum sheet metal, Arismendi’s sculptural works entitled, Una Canción de Fe Y Familia, Tenderly, and ¡Estamos en Tejas!, capture the character of each musician and honor their significant cultural contribution. The artist also introduces recurring motifs, a decorative treble clef design and references to a record, CD or spotlight, as integrated and unifying design elements at the individual sites. The public artworks reveal a story of Austin’s Tejano musical legends and provide a visual identity for the Trail that enhances the understanding and experience of the Trail for residents and visitors of Austin. The Trail of Tejano Legends is an Austin City Council led initiative to re-name five east side facilities/areas, three of which were designated to receive public art, in commemoration of the lives and contributions of significant musicians in Austin’s Tejano and Hispanic communities. This effort is the culmination of the work of former Council Member Raul Alvarez and the Austin Latino Music Association, Art in Public Places Program, the Parks and Recreation Department and the Hispanic community, to commemorate Austin’s Latino music legends from the 40s and 50s. Sites include the Perez and Ramos Plaza (formerly Zocalo at the Mexican American Cultural Center), Nash Hernandez Sr. Road (formerly Festival Beach Road), Manuel “Cowboy” Donley Park (formerly Fiesta Gardens East Meeting Hall), Johnny Degollado Pavilion (formerly Fiesta Gardens Pavilion), and the Roy Montelongo Scenic Overlook (formerly Town Lake Scenic Overlook). Tenderly, located along Nash Hernandez Sr. Road in Festival Beach Park, acknowledges the musical contribution of the legendary orchestra leader and trumpeter, and his enduring love for his wife. A cut metal silhouette of Nash Hernandez stands atop a 4 foot tall base that includes two lyrics from “Tenderly,” Nash’s final song of each performance that he would dedicate to his wife Minnie. A 6 ft diameter ring forms a “spotlight” in back of the figure, and swirling treble clefs surround the column to create a dramatic Big Band setting.