UTSA Downtown installs 18-foot sculpture

‘Drum Rhythm No. 11’ by Fletcher Benton finds permanent home at UTSA

Riley Carroll, Arts & Life Editor

In late August, UTSA’s Downtown campus installed a permanent 18-foot-tall sculpture “Drum Rhythm No. 11” by Fletcher Benton. The late sculptor’s daughter, Ashlie Benton, gifted “Drum Rhythm No. 11” to UTSA on behalf of the Fletcher Benton Foundation for the Visual Arts.

Ashlie Benton shared several of her father’s sculptures with our San Pedro I team and let us choose the one we wanted,” the vice president of UTSA’s University Relations, Teresa Niño shared. “Drum Rhythm No. 11 compliments the design elements of the San Pedro Creek Culture Park, located adjacent to the School of Data Science building. It is a tangible example of UTSA’s intentionality around investing in the city’s cultural development … Our office along with the Division of Business Affairs worked closely with Centro San Antonio, the organization that Fletcher Benton’s daughter, Ashlie Benton, approached to donate one of his sculptures to San Antonio. Centro San Antonio recommended UTSA as a possible site for her father’s sculpture.”

Drum Rhythm No. 11 arrived disassembled on Aug. 26, requiring the assistance of heavy-duty machinery like boom lifts and forklifts to correctly position it.

“The conversations that brought the sculpture to San Antonio took two years,” Niño explained. “The sculpture took a full day to install.”

The permanent installation is located near San Pedro I, the new building on Dolorosa St. the downtown campus’ School of Data Science and National Security Collaboration Center opening January 2023. The installation is intended to boost the beauty of the walkable campus.

“UTSA is committed to creating beautiful, pedestrian-friendly public spaces that enhance downtown San Antonio,” Niño described. “We wanted public art to be a central element of our new downtown San Antonio building. The sculpture will be a key feature of the exterior spaces that UTSA is creating around the building, which will also include public art and native plants that create a pleasant, natural environment where students and visitors can rest, study, socialize and play.”

For more information about the late Fletcher Benton, visit his website at https://www.fletcherbenton.com/. For more information about the installation, visit https://www.utsa.edu/today/2022/08/story/sculpture-by-renowned-artist-finds-home-at-new-utsa-downtown-school.html.