Labor Plaza

Located in the River Walk Public Art Garden, this space is a tribute to San Antonio’s labor movement as it was originally home to a sculpture of labor leader Samuel Gompers created in 1982 by Betty Jean Alden. Labor Plaza honors the history and legacy of labor in San Antonio, along with labor’s ties to social justice and civil rights causes.

Within the spiral walkway and gathering area, you will find a poem titled “So that Our Crossing May Never be Obstructed” and five artworks that were printed in ceramic tiles by Octavio Quintanilla (San Antonio Poet Laureate 2018-2020). The pieces are inspired by the Labor Movement, unions and the Mexican Muralist art movement. They are intended to capture moments of history and point to the future. Additionally, visitors will see an excerpt from labor anthem “Solidarity Forever” written by Ralph Chaplin in 1915. Both Chaplin and Quintanilla were Poet Laureates, together their contributions weave contemporary and historical views.

In the center of the plaza there is space recognizing eight notable San Antonio labor figures: Emma Tenayuca, H.S. “Hank” Brown, Rebecca Flores, Joan Suarez, Robert Thompson, Linda Chavez-Thompson, Mario Salas, and Shelley Potter. The original plaque from this sculpture was inset into the plaza to honor this legacy. Also, there is a new bronze plaque thanking the contribution of the San Antonio AFL-CIO chapter for the contribution and support.

A trio sculptural series by Washington-based artist Ries Niemi

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Location: Downtown; River

Medium type: Concrete

Date created: 2022

Associated artists

Ries Niemi
Ries Niemi

Octavio Quintanilla


500 E Market St., San Antonio, TX, 78205

Additional Information

Accession Number: 2022.Qui.1.1-5; 2022.Qui.2
District: 1
Location: River Walk Public Art Garden

Contact information



San Antonio Public Art Map