It’s a sign! It’s a sculpture! It’s a “Fork”! Censorship wall to be unveiled on Saturday May 30

Saturday, May 30
12 p.m.
Ciel Plaza

20626 Stone Oak Pkwy
San Antonio, TX‎
(210) 481-7001‎

It’s a sign! It’s a sculpture! It’s a “Fork”! Superman’s theme is used daily by Stone Oak Community. But this time not even Superman will save the “Fork” from Stone Oak homeowner association’s attacks.

When one drives by 20626 Stone Oak Parkway and a Fork sculpture emerges into sight, confusion settles in. What is that doing there? On April 1, 2009 Mr. Watel, renowned French chef and president of the Vatel Group, held the ribbon cutting ceremony of what he describes as “a post modern structure, premier shopping and dining complex overlooking the Hill Country.”

Since then Mr. Watel has been featured and many stories about the infamous Fork. Stone Oak HOA claims that he is infringing rules and regulations of the association architectural bylaws, and has offered a solution: a wall must be erected on the sidewalk to help hide the sculpture from street view or else.

The homeowner association claims that the Fork is advertisement for his two restaurants housed in the building: Ciel and Ciao2 and that the “improvement application” was never sent for approval; Mr. Watel denies the advertisement claim, stating that the sculpture created by local artist Gilbert Duran, was commissioned by him because he wanted to enhance the Stone Oak community with public art.

He also claims that the application was not done because there is no mention in the bylaws whatsoever regarding public art. When approached by the homeowner association to move it, take it down completely or be penalized, he requested the right to apply. The request was granted prefaced by an email stating that verbal refusal had already been discussed, so it would be a moot point to apply. He applied anyway, and it was denied; appealed and denied again.

The wall will be finished by May 27 to meet compliance, and on May 30 Mr. Watel, President of the Vatel Group, will be unveiling the wall. Local artists are invited, including the original artist Gilbert Duran, to come turn what some are calling oppression of Art and freedom of speech into yet another art event. This sadly comes at a time where the City of San Antonio is trying so hard to promote public art and will be inaugurating the river extension art project.

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