The King William Public Art Committee (PAC) is proud to announce its first art installation! Since its inception, the PAC’s mission has been to further the beauty of the King William area, promote area artists and demonstrate the highest level of excellence in public art using a variety of media. As you may remember, in September, 2011, the King William neighborhood was named a Cultural Arts District by the Texas Commission on the Arts. The goals of the Commission marry well with the King William Charter: Strengthen cultural life, promote arts and crafts and produce events that attract people to the area for cultural pursuits.

For our first public art project we chose something everyone could use and appreciate. The new King William Art Bench was designed and crafted by James Hendricks, a native of San Antonio with a studio and gallery downtown. He has a wide range of artistic achievements, including five sculptural benches for the city of Goodyear, Arizona and six sculptural benches representing the history and architecture of San Antonio’s Eastside. He designed and coordinated the sculpture garden for the San Antonio Art League, and created the Buffalo Soldiers sculpture and Tree of Life sculpture in Dignowity Park. His work is also shown on the grounds of La Posada in Santa Fe, New Mexico. James recently completed a commission creating several historical benches for the expansion of the San Antonio Military Medical Center-North.

The King William art bench was installed in the O’Neal Ford Park at the corner of Cesar Chavez and Pancoast in December. This bench creates a sense of place in the community of King William with its depiction of the Johnson Street Bridge, overarching trees, herons on the river and a historic home. The bench seat and round, steel brace are salvaged from the historic Hays Street Bridge, elements that unite two deeply significant San Antonio neighborhoods.

- Sherry Hess