Gutierrez art teacher builds Harlingen sculpture

Harlingen has a new sculpture featuring the city name on the corner of Jackson and A Street in the Downtown area.

Alexander Comminos, art teacher at Gutierrez Middle School of Arts and Sciences, is the artist behind it.

“So basically, it is all welded steel,” Comminos said. “There’s cacti, leaves, flowers, gears, spherical shapes, and tubes. For the design, the colors, and the motif, I looked at animals, vegetables, and the history of Harlingen, things I associate with this place, and some creative likings as well.”

From start to finish, the project took six months to complete.

“Fabrication wise, it took about a month to build them, a month to paint them, a month to approve them,” Comminos said. “Then it took the city about two months to demolish the old stage, put up the concrete footer and then actually do the brickwork to get ready for me.”

The City of Harlingen is working to make the historic part of Downtown into an arts district.

“They want Harlingen known for art,” Comminos said. “This is one of the first big kind of investments into that new goal. So, I was pretty excited to be a part of it. My studio was very happy to get it. A lot of the materials came from Harlingen, and we used local artists, like the fabrication team, that helped me build it.”

Comminos has been in Harlingen for eight years. When he first got here, he opened a studio and gallery in the Downtown area and has been involved in Harlingen Art Night, building sculpture gardens, and other projects around town.

 “I am here for art,” Comminos said.  “I have always been here for art, to share art with the people and to teach the community about art. I felt really good about this project because it felt like a major positive step forward, and it’s pretty exciting.”

 Comminos encouraged the community to visit Downtown Harlingen.

“There is a lot of really great stuff happening in Downtown,” Comminos said. “Art night is every last Friday of the month, and a lot of art teachers in the district participate in it.”

He invited the entire community to go see the sculpture in person.

“I hid three birds in there,” Comminos said.  “There are three birds in one of the letters, but I am not telling anybody where they are. You have to go find them.”

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