The art scene on South Padre Island has grown over the years, from public murals to galleries and art trails to art classes. This gives art lovers plenty of reasons to choose South Padre Island as their next vacation.
Some of the most significant additions to South Padre Island have been the public murals painted on the walls of businesses and houses. These murals help elevate South Padre Island’s scenery by having the urban areas match the beauty of the natural surroundings. The most prominent murals are the Wyland’s Whaling Wall at the South Padre Island Convention Center and the Sea Life Mural at the Courtyard by Marriott. The Wyland’s Whaling Wall is Wyland’s contributed piece labeled “Orcas off the Gulf of Mexico,” which depicts orcas swimming on the convention center’s walls. Wyland is a marine life artist and contributed this piece as part of his Whale Wall series, where he contributed similar works around the globe. The Sea Life mural is painted on the Courtyard by Marriott and was created by an artist Marcos Zamudio. He is an Argentinian painter who contributed several murals for the resort. His piece takes in key aspects of the fishing culture and highlights them in this artwork.
South Padre Island offers two unique art trails for visitors to explore. The Sandcastle Art Trail comprises 30 different sand sculptures scattered throughout the island. Each sculpture was made by local and international sand artists who themed the pieces over the business or attraction where they are located. The Sandcastle Village is the main stop on the trail, home to the most extensive collection of sand sculptures. The village sculptures are permanently displayed and continuously updated to match the season/holidays. These sculptures highlight the ability and creativity of the artists who demonstrate the usefulness of sand as a building material.
The Sea Turtle Art Trail comprises eleven sea turtle statues located at key attractions. Each sea turtle was created by local artists who started with a blank turtle canvas and added their designs representing a different aspect of the South Padre Island lifestyle. Some artists took the liberty of using another building component or a more prominent statue for their work, offering unique stops on the trail. Visitors can win a prize for completing the turtle trail. All they have to do is take a photo with each turtle, upload their pictures to their Facebook, Twitter, or Instagram account with the hashtag #SPIturtletrail, and show the post to our staff at the visitor center, and they will receive their prize.
Make sure to pick up an art trail map at our visitor center. The map will show the locations of each sand sculpture and turtle on South Padre Island. For a downloadable version, click here.
One of the significant proponents of art on South Padre Island is the Art Business Incubator (ABI). Their primary focus is the growth of art culture on the island. They do this by helping flourishing artists navigate the early stages of business development for those looking to open an art-related business through their residency program. Their program has had success as three of their recent graduates have opened their own galleries. ABI’s long-term goal is to have an art plaza filled with different galleries and shops dedicated to furthering the art scene. ABI will also host various art classes for people interested in learning more about the art world. Every class is led by one of their residents who specialize in different art forms. For more information on ABI, visit their page here.
Quinn Gallery is owned and operated by Malia Quinn, an Art Business Incubator residency program graduate. She opened her gallery to offer original art pieces and features the works of two other international artists. Malia also offers painting lessons on the beach for those who would like to learn how to paint the natural seascape.
The Art Lounge is the newest art gallery on South Padre Island. The lounge feature’s a diversified collection of contemporary art by artists from all over Texas and Mexico. For the public, the Art Lounge offers a unique space for like-minded individuals to share their love of art and learn more through art classes and guided tours. For the artist, they provide rental space where they can create and share their work with the public. They also have the opportunity to host art functions, workshops, and more.