The Missions in Texas are a series of 26 religious outposts established by Spanish Dominicans, Jesuits, and Franciscans to spread the Catholic faith among Native Americans in the area. The missions introduced European livestock, fruits, vegetables, industry and architecture into the Texas region. In addition to the presidio (fort) and pueblo (town), the mission was one of the three major institutions used by the Spanish crown to extend its borders and consolidate its colonial territories. In all, the missions were maintained for different lengths of time within the future boundaries of the state of Texas.
Having lived in San Antonio, TX for a number of years, I was taken by the visual vocabulary of these incredible structures. They are extremely strong structures that convey a sense of stability, power, protection and of course, dominance. As Winston Churchill said some 300 years after the first mission was built, “We shape our buildings and then our buildings shape us.” These buildings certainly played a major role in shaping the belief systems of the indigenous and foreign people of the State of Texas and the region.
I have focused on seven of the most powerful and aesthetically pleasing of the church structures for this series. There are currently 7 completed pieces.