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El Bosque (translates in English to “the forest“) was commissioned as an illuminated, aluminum sculpture for the side patio of the Encino Branch Library in San Antonio, Texas. The goal of the artwork was to celebrate the spirit and art of storytelling and create an iconic image for the new library.

The sculpture represents abstracted storybook pages interwoven within an oak tree forest. The piece represents the magical transformation of reading a story and being transported into a new imaginary place. Words line the walls as abstract oak trees appear to grow out of sentences creating not just a tree, but a forest of knowledge.

The artists invited members of the community to submit phrases or quotes from literature related to the theme of the “natural wild” or explore what “nature” or the “wild” means to them. The artwork incorporated these phrases as an abstract word cloud which allows for multiple interpretations of the words as the viewers’ eyes move across the panels. The words and phrases blend together creating new meaning and associations.

The sculpture is constructed of 1/2″ aluminum and was made to glisten in the sunlight. At night, in-ground lighting illuminates the sculpture giving it a constant presence on the site as well as referencing the imaginative nature of storytelling.




Encino Branch Library, San Antonio, TX


30' x 22'' x 8'


aluminum, LED lighting 

Commissioning Agency: 

Public Art San Antonio


Joe O'Connell

Blessing Hancock

El Bosque

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