This is book number 19 in the Rio Grande/Río Bravo: Borderlands Culture and Traditions series.
As documented in Patsy Pittman Light’s award-winning book, Capturing Nature, Mexican artisan Dionicio Rodríguez arrived in San Antonio in the 1920s and created concrete bus stop shelters, park benches, footbridges, and other structures in the style known as faux bois, or trabajo rústico. Following on the success of that previous work, Light, with photographer and artist Kent Rush, presents a comprehensive look at the legacy of Rodríguez as reflected in the works of those whom he trained, mentored, or influenced.
Rodríguez captured nature in his work, but he also continues to capture our imagination. Drawing these artistic creations out of the urban landscape, Artisans of Trabajo Rústico makes the nearly invisible fully visible to the critic, the historian, and especially to the casual viewer. Light asserts that San Antonio has the largest concentration of this art form in the country and includes copious full-color photography of the work of Rodríguez and other artisans.
This handsomely illustrated and painstakingly documented work offers the broadest possible panorama for the craft and endearing familiarity of this form. Inspired by nature, built by hand, and placed in the service of the public, these “rustic works” continue to provide enjoyment, convenience, and a touch of artistic elegance to public and private landscapes in San Antonio and beyond. Light and Rush’s work affords a fresh and wide-ranging look at this important artisanal tradition.
PATSY PITTMAN LIGHT is the author of Capturing Nature: The Cement Sculpture of Dionicio Rodríguez, winner of the Ron Tyler Award for Best Illustrated Book from the Texas Historical Commission. She lives in San Antonio. KENT RUSH is professor emeritus of art and art history at the University of Texas, San Antonio. A former Fulbright and NEA fellow, his work has been exhibited extensively across the United States and internationally.