The ongoing Main Street Uvalde downtown art/seating installation of decorated benches has almost completed Phase 2 with 13 bedecked benches now adorning various downtown sidewalks, offering respite to locals and visitors alike. The final two benches, for a total of 15, are expected to be received by next month.
Benches number 12 and 13 were installed last Thursday, including “Devotion to Duty” painted by artist Linda Quintero and “Farm to Table” by artist Arlene Nanney.
“Devotion to Duty” was sponsored by Medina Electric Cooperative, and both the sponsor and the artist are based in Hondo.
The bench, which honors first responders, was placed at 117 S. Getty St. near the downtown station of the Uvalde Volunteer Fire Department. It depicts a silhouetted firefighter, the credo, “Deeds not Words” and the 1892 date when the UVFD was established.
Quintero also painted one of the first five benches, entitled “Colorful Culture” with a mariachi starry night theme. That bench may be viewed at 201 N. Getty St.
“Farm to Table” depicts an angora goat and a cow on a bright light blue background alongside corn and sunflowers, representing the spirit of the rural agricultural community.
It was sponsored by Texas Agri-Women and is located in the 100 block of South Getty Street by Uvalde City Hall.
The bench project, called “Park Yourself in Uvalde,” began in mid-August last year when Main Street manager Susan Rios conceived the idea to ask local artisans to paint five-foot long Victorian-style oak benches.
Uvalde Convention and Visitors Bureau executive director Debra Stifflemire was quick to back the idea, and the CVB agreed to fund the initial purchase of five benches, then later doubled down with another 10 as Phase 2 began.
Artists submitted a portfolio and project idea to Rios, and chosen artists were matched with sponsors. Artists received a $400 stipend primarily funded through sponsor donations, with the Main Street program supplying some of the stipend funding as well.