Fidencio Durán Papers
An Inventory of the Collection
Fidencio Durán is a regionally and nationally recognized artist and art educator, beginning in the 1980s. He was born July 31, 1961 in Lockhart, Texas and grew up just east in Maxwell, a small farming town. He is the third youngest in a family of six boys and two girls, and his parents were tenant farmers who moved to Texas from Central Mexico in the late 1930s. His Mexican American cultural heritage inspire much of his art. Durán attended Lockhart High School, where his interest in arts education programming was piqued by an artist and mentor, Ricardo Hernandez.
Durán eventually moved to Austin to pursue his Bachelor of Fine Arts from the University of Texas, where his style was inspired and shaped by the figurative artists of the Mexican Mural movement, the American Scene of the early 20th century, and Surrealism. After he graduated in 1984, he began working with the Texas Commission on the Arts (TCA) and their Arts in Education program. This led to many years as a gallery artist, muralist, and resident artist at several public schools throughout the state of Texas where he was able to work with underrepresented youth.
Locally, his murals both honor his family's history and community and reflect the diversity of Austin's cultural landscapes. In 1996, Durán painted three interior murals in acrylic over the entrance of the Parque Zaragoza Recreation Center. They pay tribute to the Mexican national holidays on September 16 and May 5 and to the men who established the Zaragoza park in 1931 to host Austin's first licensed fiestas for those days. In the first mural, Cinco de Mayo, the victorious Mexican soldiers ride from the scene of the Battle of Puebla, in which they were expected to be defeated by the much larger and better equipped French troops. In the second, La Comité Patriota, community leaders are honored for their work in preserving the values, traditions, and celebrations of Mexican Americans, and the third, Diez y Seis, narrates the origin of Mexican Independence from Spain. Durán involved neighborhood children in the development of the murals.
Perhaps his most prominent local work, The Visit, is a nine-panel mural that spans the length of the ticket counter at the Austin-Bergstrom International Airport. Each panel is a scene portraying the life of Central Texas residents, with inspiration deriving from rural Mexican American families in Central Texas. This large scale project was installed in 1999.
Other locations in Austin where his work has been featured publicly include the Montopolis Neighborhood Center, Holly Street Power Plant, Greyhound bus station, and Dell Children's Medical Center.
The Fidencio Durán Papers (1986-2013) contain news clippings from media both in Travis County and across the state of Texas, promotional materials, journal articles, published works, and correspondence that document the work of a well-known Austin-based painter and muralist. The collection is arranged into three series: Personal Records, Newspaper Clippings, and Publicity.
The Personal Records (1990-2013, undated) series contains two of Durán's CVs/resumes and correspondence in the form of an email list serve/newsletter. The resumes provide a chronological timeline of Durán's creative projects, work experience, and awards from 1990 and the early 2000s. The email correspondence dates from 2006, 2009, and 2012-2013 and highlights upcoming projects, updates on exhibits, invitations to gallery openings, and select images of paintings.
The Newspaper Clippings (1986-2013) series includes articles published about Durán's art works, work with public schools, gallery openings, and major projects. They are arranged by region, either by articles published within Travis County or outside of Travis County, and organized chronologically. Some of the publications included are The Austin American-Statesman, The Austin Chronicle, The Daily Texan, El Mundo, The Tyler Courier-Times, The Victoria Advocate, The Dallas Times Herald, and The Dallas Morning News.
The Publicity (1990s, 2000s, undated) series contains promotional materials like brochures, flyers, and postcards; an educational booklet written and illustrated by Durán, and journal articles featuring and highlighting the artist's work.
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Open to all users.
Restrictions on Use
The Austin History Center (AHC) is the owner of the physical materials in the AHC collections and makes available reproductions for research, publication, and other uses. Written permission must be obtained from the AHC before any publication use. The AHC does not necessarily hold copyright to all of the materials in the collections. In some cases, permission for use may require seeking additional authorization from the copyright owners. Consult repository for more details.
Fidencio Durán Papers (AR.2015.033). Austin History Center, Austin Public Library, Texas.
Donor #: DO/2002/048
Donation Date: 2002, 2004, 2015
Finding aid Created and encoded by Amanda Jasso in 2016.
Detailed Description of the Collection