The official unveiling of the "Welcome to Brownsville" mural in downtown Brownsville, created by local artist Jesse James, took place on a Wednesday evening. The event included a signing of the mural by Jesse James himself and at least one of the dancers featured on the mural.
The mural is located on East 13th Street between East Levee Street and East Elizabeth Street and was made possible through funding from the Musk Foundation and the Brownsville Beautification Committee.
City Manager Helen Ramirez, AICP, expressed the importance of collaboration and partnerships in making the city great, emphasizing the concept of "One City." She praised the joint efforts that led to the creation of this beautiful mural, enhancing the community's aesthetics.
Jesse James' winning mural beautifully captures the "Welcome to Brownsville" theme and features various elements that represent the city. These include mariachis, flamenco dancers, the Immaculate Conception Cathedral, animals from the Gladys Porter Zoo, SpaceX, palm trees, and beach waves. The project was a collaborative effort involving several organizations, including the City of Brownsville, the Brownsville Museum of Fine Art, the Revival of Cultural Arts, the Consulate of Mexico in Brownsville, and the University of Texas at Rio Grande Valley.
A call for artists was made earlier this year and after selecting the finalists, the public was asked to vote for their favorite mural from the finalists. Over 6,000 ballots were cast by the public; the results helped determine the lead muralist for the downtown mural project, Jesse James.
District 3 Commissioner Roy De los Santos expressed his pride in the mural, emphasizing how it represents Brownsville's faith, culture, and attractions, both locally and globally. He even mentioned the possibility of the mural being appreciated intergalactically in the future.
District 1 Commissioner Bryan L. Martinez highlighted how the mural encapsulates many aspects of Brownsville's identity, including its festivals like Charro Days, its birds, the nearby island, and the city's rich history.
Jesse James, the talented artist behind the mural, spoke about how the project had been life-changing for him and how it had opened new doors in his artistic journey. He expressed his pleasure in creating art that contributes to the beauty of Brownsville.