Downtown New Braunfels to receive an additional historic splash of color

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“Lindheimer—Father of Texas Botany” Location: 129 S. Seguin Ave. Subject: This mural depicts the father of Texas botany, Ferdinand Lindheimer. During his career, Lindheimer studied and cataloged plants and animals in Central Texas, over 50 of which still bear his name, including the Texas yellowstar flower. Lindheimer also helped found New Braunfels’ first German newspaper, the Zeitung, along with Hermann Seele, and housed the paper’s printing press in his home. Artist: Alex Brochon Dedication date: May 21, 2001 (to celebrate Lindheimer’s 200th birthday) Price: $34,000
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“The Legacy of Our Journey—El Legado de Neustra Jornada” Location: The wall of Comal Flower Shop at 337 Main Plaza, New Braunfels Subject: This mural was painted by artist Alex Rubio of San Antonio Blue Star Contemporary, along with his students. The artwork honors Hispanic history in Central Texas from 1600-1845 and portrays important events, values and people that have contributed to Hispanic heritage in the New Braunfels area. Artist: Alex Rubio Dedication date: May 3, 2018 Price: $75,000
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“Spass und Gemutlichkeit” Location: 148 S. Castell Ave., New Braunfels Subject: The “Spass und Gemutlichkeit” mural celebrates Krause’s Café, where locals have gathered for more than 60 years. German traditions such as sausage, bread and brewing are portrayed alongside a traditional stammtisch table at which notable people from New Braunfels’ past are seated. Artist: Brent McCarthy Dedication date: April 19, 2007 Price: $24,000
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“City of a Prince” Location: West San Antonio Street and Castell Avenue, New Braunfels Subject: “City of a Prince” was the first mural painted in New Braunfels and depicts the arrival of Prince Carl of Solms-Braunfels in Texas on July 1, 1844, when he purchased 1,265 acres on the Guadalupe River. Then, on March 21, 1845, German immigrants arrived and marked the founding of New Braunfels, the first Texas colony of German settlers. Artist: Clinton Baermann Dedication date: March 21, 1999 Price: $25,000
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“Hermann Seele—The Soul of New Braunfels” Location: 146 N. Castell Ave., New Braunfels Subject: Hermann Seele was one of the first settlers of New Braunfels and served as the first local school teacher, a lawyer, postmaster and mayor. Seele kept detailed records of early life in New Braunfels and helped found several social clubs and local groups, including the First Protestant Church of New Braunfels, the •Zeitung• and Saengerfeste, a traditional singing festival. Artist: Brent McCarthy Dedication date: Oct. 28, 2012 Price: $52,000
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New performing arts mural Location: Brauntex Theater and Performing Arts Center, 290 W. San Antonio St., New Braunfels Subject: The newest mural will celebrate the city’s visual and performing arts throughout the area’s history. Well-known performers and performance styles will be represented alongside depictions of iconic venues, such as the Seekatz Opera House, the Brauntex Theater for the Performing Arts and Gruene Hall. Artist: Brent McCarthy Dedication date: in progress; commissioned in honor of New Braunfels’ 175th anniversary celebration in March Price: estimated $75,000
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“Lure of the Springs” Location: 110 Golf Course Drive, New Braunfels Subject: “Lure of the Springs” chronicles the history of the Comal River from the prehistoric era to the development of Landa Industries. Depicted in the mural are dinosaurs that once roamed the area, people who settled along its shores and development as the city grew. Artist: Clinton Baermann Dedication date: Oct. 8, 2004 Price: $34,000
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“Fenster ins Wurstfest— Windows into Wurstfest” Location: 124 Elizabeth Ave., New Braunfels Subject: This mural celebrates the 10-day Wurstfest festival that highlights German food, culture and traditions and is attended by thousands of visitors annually. Dedicated on the 50th anniversary of Wurstfest, the art shows snapshots of the German festival, its participants and the community as a whole. Artist: Brent McCarthy Dedication date: Oct. 18, 2010 Price: $30,000
A mural depicting the history of performing and visual arts in New Braunfels is scheduled to be completed in March as part of the city’s 175th anniversary celebration. Located on the side of the Brauntex Theater and Performing Arts Center, the artwork will be the eighth mural in the city’s downtown area.

The concept of creating murals in downtown New Braunfels as a way to invigorate the city started in 1995 when members of the Design Review Committee of

New Braunfels Main Street read about a mural project in Chemainus, British Columbia, Canada. Chemainus reinvigorated its struggling downtown by creating murals to depict the town’s history and culture.

“That program brought about complete revitalization of their community,” said Jan Kingsbury, owner of Spass Walking Tours.

The success in Chemainus inspired the New Braunfels committee to follow suit, and in July 1996 the Historic Outdoor Art Museum was established as a nonprofit 501(c)(3).

In 1999, Texas Senate-honored muralist and historian Clinton Baermann painted the first mural in downtown New Braunfels, entitled “City of a Prince.” The mural depicts the arrival of Prince Carl of Solms-Bels in 1844, German settlers who joined him and the establishment of New Braunfels in 1845, Kingsbury said.

Since then, the HOAM has commissioned and overseen the creation of eight total murals, including the mural currently in progress, and one bronze statue of Prince Carl. The statue is located in front of the New Braunfels Civic and Convention Center.

Choosing a new mural’s theme and content is a long process that usually takes two years and includes conducting detailed research, deciding a location, contracting an artist and applying for funding, HOAM Secretary Lois Newton said.

“The subject is always something that we feel is important to honor our heritage and highlight our history,” Newton said. “Once you select a subject, then you have to gather the history. The stories, dates and times of these events has to be authentic.”

After selecting a subject and agreeing upon the design, the HOAM board begins the application process to acquire funding for the project. The murals are paid for through grants, private donations and hotel occupancy tax funds, Newton said.

City hotel tax revenue is used to directly promote tourism and the convention and hotel industry, and the HOAM regularly applies for the use of these funds to contribute to the creation of new murals, according to Newton.•Some capital is made available through the city hotel tax, but private grants and donations are the primary source of funding for the production of each new mural and its dedication ceremony and a commemorative plaque that accompanies each artwork, she said.

Each mural is dedicated to a unique part of the city’s history and is created with the intent to educate both locals and visitors to New Braunfels. Both the board and the artist are involved in researching and designing each artwork.

The newest mural will give a timeline of the area’s rich history of performing and visual arts and depict the evolution of entertainment throughout the decades, said muralist Brent McCarthy, who painted four of the eight murals.

“Music and art is so much a part of our heritage,” Newton said. “There are so many arts in our community that they needed to be highlighted.”

As the HOAM continues to add to the murals downtown, the mission to celebrate local history and support the downtown historic district has remained the same.

“Each [mural] has its own story,” Newton said. “Outdoor public art can bring so much revitalization and diversification to a city.”

“We’re excited for this new mural to be on the Brauntex and for people to see it as they’re coming down Walnut [Avenue] into town,” Brauntex Theater Executive Director Cheryl Fischer said. “It’s wonderful that it will align with the anniversary of the city.”


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