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Antonio Garcia’s fresco can be seen above the sanctuary in Sacred Heart Church. The painting depicts the Sacred Heart of Jesus appearing to St. Margaret Mary Alacoque and in Spanish is the quote “He aqua el corazon que ha amado tanto a los hombres” (“Behold his heart which has so loved men.”) Mary Cottingham, South Texas Catholic

her father didn’t paint the religious pieces for notoriety or financial gain. “I think that the artwork in churches was done out of the love of the church,” Davis said. “He cared about having it done for God.” Antonio Garcia’s works include a 44-foot tall fresco depicting the Immaculate Conception of Mary, which was Davis’ favorite of her father’s creations. The 1960 mural can be viewed in the Immaculate Conception chapel at St. John Paul II High School. Although Antonio Garcia displayed his skill and talent early on, Davis recalls that her father’s pursuit of higher education was not entirely successful. He studied at the Art Institute of Chicago but was unable to obtain a degree because the program changed from three years to four years and he did not have the money to finish. His 1946 fresco “Mexican Annunciation” can be found inside Our Lady of Loreto Chapel at Presidio La Bahia in Goliad. The Goliad Massacre of Colonel James Fannin and his troops occurred at the 26  South Texas Catholic | June 2018

Spanish fort during the Texas Revolution in 1836. The site became a National Historic Landmark in 1967. Among Antonio Garcia’s secular works is “Juneteenth Revue” that he painted in 1939, and is part of the permanent collection at the Art Museum of South Texas, and the 1933 mural “March on Washington” now on display at the Duval County Historical Museum in San Diego, TX. He taught at Del Mar College for more than 20 years and was a founding member of the South Texas Art League. Davis remembers as a child going every summer to Saltillo, Mexico where Garcia would teach drawing classes in a park. Through her father, Davis developed an appreciation of art, nature and scenery there and in hometown Corpus Christi. “He would take us to the T-heads after Mass and we would go down by where the Art Center of Corpus Christi is now and watch the ships come in,” Davis said. “I still do that today.”

Davis later studied art and took an art history class from one of her father’s former students. The South Texas Institute for the Arts renamed in 1998, the Antonio E. Garcia Arts & Education Center, is supported in partnership with Texas A&M University-Corpus Christi. The center provides educational opportunities, including a free after-school program, in arts and literacy for everyone in the community. The center also offers family services and counseling. According to an article published by the Corpus Christi Caller-Times on April 25, blindness forced Garcia into retirement during the 1980s. He passed away in 1997. Davis sees the marker as a sign that people acknowledge and appreciate what Garcia did for the community. Unveiling it was a special moment for her. “I’ve always known that he was a great artist,” Davis said. “It indicates that they cared about what he did, about him and about his work.”

Profile for South Texas Catholic

June 2018 - Vol.53 No.6  

In our June issue, we feature Nick and Oralia Cardenas, longtime parishioners from Our Lady of Victory in Beeville, who have dedicated 24 ye...

June 2018 - Vol.53 No.6  

In our June issue, we feature Nick and Oralia Cardenas, longtime parishioners from Our Lady of Victory in Beeville, who have dedicated 24 ye...

Profile for diocesecc