“Puro San Antonio” is a colorful photo exhibit by Fort Sam Houston ISD Cole High School students featuring pop-art portraits of foods, drinks, and other items close to the heart of the city and its residents. The fine arts exhibit runs through the end of the year at at the Galleries @ SAT at San Antonio International Airport.
“Puro San Antonio” speaks to the city’s diverse Hispanic and Texan cultures, said Cole photography teacher Brenda Marafioto. And nothing says San Antonio quite like portraits of chips and salsa, cowboy boots, and a Whataburger cup.
“I think we were able to honor and celebrate our unique cultural heritage, to really capture the spirit of our city,” she said. “And it let our students apply their skills in a real-world context.” A dozen students from Marafioto’s advanced commercial photography class designed and developed the project.
“I think when tourists and visitors come, they don’t realize how much Mexican and Hispanic culture we have in San Antonio,” said Cole High School senior Payton Cunningham, who shot the jalapeños and the exhibit’s other green images. “I think our gallery gives them a good idea.”
Earlier in the school year, Marafioto reached out to airport arts, culture and social media manager Matt Evans about showcasing her students’ photography. One of the images she presented was Carroll’s pop art picture of a pink concha. Evans fell in love with the pic and asked Marafioto if her students could do a whole gallery based on the design.
Carroll and her classmates photographed the objects in their school studio. They originally used white backgrounds and soft boxes. Then, in post-processing, they used the Eyedropper tool in Photoshop to pluck the main color from each item and use as its new background.