Located on the southwest corner of the University of Texas, San Antonio Downtown Campus. “Labyrinth Gateway” is a suspended sculpture hanging from cables mounted to pylons surrounding a small courtyard.
The labyrinth represents a metaphor in the writings of Tomás Rivera, revered teacher and administrator of UTSA. During the day, the labyrinth projects its shadow downwards onto the floor of the courtyard, allowing the University community to participate in the path of the labyrinth or simply pass through the undulating patterns of light and shadow. Surrounding the courtyard are two large granite benches. On these benches are quotations by Tomás Rivera:
“The labyrinth that is literature provides a setting where differences disappear and one gains an insight into the human condition–our human condition.” Tomás Rivera 1971
“In essence, is it not life in search of form–a conquest, a labyrinth in which to reflect this human condition?” Tomás Rivera 1971
Installed in 2003, it was designed by San Francisco artist Lewis de Soto.
Starting his life as a migrant worker, Tomás Rivera was a professor of Spanish and a dean at various universities, including the University of Texas at San Antonio. Rivera’s works include . . . y no se lo tragó la tierra/ . . . And the Earth Did Not Devour Him (1971); The Harvest (1989), a short story collection; and The Searchers (1973), a volume of collected poetry. Texas State University College of Education created The Tomás Rivera Mexican American Children’s Book Award in 1995 to honor authors and illustrators who create literature that depicts the Mexican American experience.