Tank a canvas for colossal work of art
"The Volunteers," unveiled June 2 at the Exxon Mobil Baytown refinery, features two people of different backgrounds who represent countless citizen volunteers in the 1836 Battle of San Jacinto.
Jose Antonio Menchaca, a Tejano rancher, and Jesse Billingsly, a captain of the Mina Volunteers, fought for Texas independence against Gen. Antonio Lpez de Santa Anna's Mexican forces.
The Mina Volunteers took their name from the Colorado River community of Mina, which would later become Bastrop.
This artwork and similar paintings on area refinery tanks were created by Native Sun Productions, a group of scholars, writers and artists with offices in San Antonio and Valparaiso, Ind.
Organized by the Economic Alliance with initial funding from Harris County, the works are part of a multifaceted upgrade known as Project Stars. The project combines the efforts of 16 member communities and corporate partners.
Baytown City Manager Garry Brumback said Baytown is "thrilled" at Exxon Mobil's participation in the beautification effort.
Throughout (Exxon Mobil's) 90-year history in Baytown, they have worked hard to promote the community through various educational and beautification efforts," Brumback said in a prepared statement.
"Their participation in Project Stars' will greatly enhance the city's appearance."
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