La Monarca is the world’s first Solar Mural installation; it is a Land Art Generator artwork—a piece of public art that produces renewable energy. This new art form has been promoted most prominently on a global level by the Land Art Generator Initiative.
La Monarca, a giant lotería card celebrating San Antonio’s status as the National Wildlife Federation’s first Monarch Butterfly Champion City, includes an image by San Antonio artist Cruz Ortiz. The image is embedded into the solar-energy-producing-film that constitutes the surface of this Land Art Generator installation.
The Solar Mural artwork will be unveiled at Luminaria, San Antonio’s 10th annual contemporary arts festival, to be held at Hemisfair from 7pm to midnight on Friday, November 11, 2017. La Monarca will be set upon a grassy hilltop between two of Hemisfair’s three historic 1960s-era “Confluence of Cultures” murals: Juan O’Gorman’s stone mural on the façade of the Lila Cockrell Theatre and Carlos Merida’s glass tile mural on the Convention Center. Power from La Monarca will be used to illuminate the artwork itself that night.
La Monarca will find a permanent home inside a pollinator garden on the EPIcenter campus along the Mission Reach of the San Antonio River where it will generate solar energy that will feed directly into the power grid.
La Monarca has been a collaboration between Land Heritage Institute (LHI)’s LHI Art-Sci Projects, EPIcenter, the Local Initiatives Support Corporation (LISC) and the Land Art Generator Initiative (LAGI). The project has been made possible through support from the Alice Kleberg Reynolds Foundation, OCI Solar Power, Mission Solar Energy, Sun Action Trackers, Sistine Solar, Texas Commission on the Arts and the National Endowment for the Arts.
Las Monarcas will be a swarm of Monarch Butterfly-inspired Land Art Generator artworks to be designed for placement at and to provide power to social service centers, municipal buildings or eco-cultural tourism destinations in the City of San Antonio or other stops along Monarch Butterfly migration routes serving as emblems for the full range of issues the Monarch Butterfly has come to represent: metamorphosis and emergence; species extinction due to global warming and climate change; immigrant, exile and refugee rights; and, now, renewable energy and regenerative design.