The Mermaid March is a public art project that celebrates the art, culture and natural beauty of San Marcos. The mermaid forms were created by the Fountain People and painted by artists selected by the Arts Commission. This is a public art project of the Arts Commission of San Marcos
The commentary listed below is provided by the City of San Marcos.
Photo credit - Larry Castillo Photography
“ I am honored to have been involved since the inception of this idea. It has personally been a dream of mine to see the project realized.” - July Moreno, Founder of Mermaid Society SMTX
"Ode to Ralph" - Cheryl Latimer
Cheryl is largely known for her pop art cement sculptures at locations such as Peter Pan Mini Golf or the cement cows at Amy's Ice Cream/Phil's Ice House in Austin. She also works with mediums such as stone, cement, metal, wood, clay, acrylic, watercolor, photography, and computer graphics.
Latimer was inspired by the commercials for Aquarena Springs and Ralph the Swimming Pig from her childhood.
According to Latimer, "The idea of combining the mermaid with a fantasy version of Ralph just makes me smile. 'Ode to Ralph' will be bright, fun, and unique just like the city of San Marcos."
We just love Ralph's transformation into a.... merpig? Mermammal? Whatever he is, he is definitely adorable! Have you seen this statue yet?
"Before Us." - Diana Weems
Weems is working towards her BFA in Studio Art/All Level Teaching Certification at Texas State University. She has painted all over the Hill Country and beyond, but some of her most prestigious pieces are six pairs of six-foot-tall fiberglass boots among the 50 displayed around Wimberley. Now, she has turned her sights onto the San Marcos mermaids!
The inspiration for "Before Us" is the creation story of the Coahuiltecan people: "In the beginning of humanity, we, The People were spirits that wandered the Underworld. We emerged from the Sacred Springs and were guided by our guardian spirits: – Deer, Eagle, Jaguar, Wolf, and the Waterbird."
Weems collaborated with the Indigenous Cultures Institute to ensure that they design was appropriately representative of Native American folklore and imagery. We just love the way Weems effortlessly captures the beauty of nature!
"Dianne," - Morgan Egan
There's nothing more beautiful than a garden bursting with flowers... except for a garden of flowers painted onto a mermaid! Located on the corner of San Antonio and Comanche St, the colorful array of florals is echoed by the gardens of the nearby Price Center. Egan is a tattoo artist specializing in folk-art style flower art, so the native blossoms of San Marcos were a natural focal point in her design.
However, flowers were not the only inspiration behind this piece. Dianne Wassenich serves as the executive director of the San Marcos River Foundation, and tends the gardens at the Price Center.
According to Egan, "She is the real life embodiment of everything the mermaid is supposed to represent: a passionate devotee to beauty for its own sake; a cultivator of healthy natural systems. She tends to the river as if it were her garden, and knows every blade of rice and muddy patch. She understands above all the work that must be done."
We can't think of a better muse for this gorgeous, colorful art! It must be seen to be believed.
"The Fish of the San Marcos Waterways" - Doug Hiser
An exciting glimpse into the diversity that lies beneath our river's surface. This statue can be found at the corner of MLK Dr. and Guadaulpe St. and is covered with native fish from the San Marcos River.
Doug Hiser is a professional wildlife artist and bestselling author. A high school art teacher and travel enthusiast, Hiser creates art prolifically, whether it be murals, logos, or fine art paintings.
Hiser wanted to "capture the diversity of fish in the clear cool waters of the area and illustrate what people see when touring the glass bottom boats.
We love the meticulous detail that went into crafting this mermaid.
"Blooming Brightly" by Lauren Hofmann
We can't think of a more perfect location for this statue than Children's Park. Hofmann's mermaid is adorned in a rainbow of neon paints on her tail and hair, and her skin is covered in newspaper clippings.
Hofmann drew inspiration from the interwoven stories that create our town. She used clippings from the San Marcos Daily Record to cover the mermaid's body. According to Hoffmann, "Some of those clippings are personal to me, or they are personal to others- we all have a story."
And you can't miss the adorable fish taco- a detail that Hofmann included to bring a pop of color and humor to the statue. We love the sense of community that this statue invokes!
"Aqua Reina," - Jamie Kimmel Shelton
Located at the San Marcos Activity Center, "Aqua Reina" is a celebration of the San Marcos River and the interactions between wildlife and landscape.
According to Shelton, "This amazing place allows us 'humans' to remember that we are part of a larger ecosystem. We are a part of this river as much as it is a part of us."
Shelton has lived in San Marcos since 1989. She is a self-employed artist and dancer, and she teaches, performs, and participates in the San Marcos Community as much as possible.
Our favorite aspect of this sculpture is that there is life from every angle.
"Liquid March" - Darin Wood
The most mysterious of the #MermaidMarch statues, Darin Wood's "Liquid Metal" has sparked quite a few conversations around town. From a distance the mermaid, located on Hutchison Street outside Minute Man, looks to be painted a simple black. But as you get closer, the magic of Mirrachrome paint comes alive! The paint is smooth and reflective like a mirror, and viewers can see their images echoed on the mermaid's surface.
Darin Wood is a painter living in San Marcos. He aspires to capture the essence or feel of his subjects. Wood explains, "I am stunned by the tiny differences in lighting in a subjects from one moment to the next and I am compelled to paint them."
We are blown away by the interactive nature of reflection in this piece. If you haven't seen this mermaid in person, it is definitely worth a trip!
"Oh for a Muse of Fire" - April Layman
If you've driven through the intersection of Hopkins and Guadalupe St, you've no doubt seen this kaleidoscopic array of color. It's not only beautiful, there is a secret magic to its creation.
Layman is a self-employed artist who works with a wide variety of mediums. She has been a Graphic Designer for over a decade, but prefers freelance work. Her creation is painted with thermachromic pigment. When the weather is cool, the statue appears black. But once the temperature reaches over 86 degrees, the statue becomes an explosion of color!
"Mermaid Map" by Grace Rowland Park
Though the patterns may look unusual from a distance, up close the colors arrange themselves into a map of San Marcos. Roads, train tracks and waterways coexist on the mermaid's body, beginning with Aquarena Springs on her eyes.
Park is a Central Texas artist and musician, specializing in cut paper, stained glass and graphic design. She has also performed as the frontwoman of The Blue Hit and is currently the founder and frontwoman of the local alt-folk band The Deer.
The mermaid stands as a protector of San Marcos' natural resources. According to Park, "The map shows that nature and civilization are in fact one and the same ecosystem, and draws to attention the necessity of balance and mindfulness as this small town expands."
"Mermaid Playground," - Malachy McKinney
McKinney was inspired by the old Aquarena Springs theme park and its attractions. He chose a collage pop art style to depict the boats, structures, local fish, Ralph the Swimming Pig, and mermaids. McKinney wanted to keep the viewers engaged with the piece as they searched for elements in the collage.
We love the bold colors and strong lines in this piece. It is amazing in person, so head to Hutchison St. in front of Texas Skates to check it out! * Picture provided by City of San Marcos.