UHS grad’s work on display at Smithsonian

by Meghann Garcia, managing editor

Former Uvalde resident Eduardo Flores plans to visit the Smithsonian Institution’s National Museum of American History sometime this year for a special reason: the Coca-Cola advertisement he created in 1995 to memorialize slain Tejano singer Selena is on display as part of the museum’s installation on the history of American business.

Flores, who graduated from Uvalde High School in 1974, was senior art director at Sosa, Bromley, Aguilar and Associates when he was given two days to create an advertisement for Coca-Cola as a tribute to Selena.

“I knew Selena loved white roses, so I decided to hire a photographer in Dallas to shoot a photograph of a single white rose on the floor of an empty stage,” Flores said in a press release. “It got printed and the rest is history. I had no idea the white rose would become a symbol for Selena, or that one day my work would hang in the Smithsonian.”

While employed at Sosa, Bromley, Aguilar and Associates, Flores also worked on projects for American Airlines, Anheuser-Busch, Sprint, Western Union, Levi’s, General Motors and Procter & Gamble.

The Coca-Cola ad chosen for the Smithsonian’s “American Enterprise” exhibit originally appeared in a special edition of People Magazine.

Now a creative consultant in San Antonio, where he resides, Flores graduated from Uvalde High School in 1974. He attended Southwest Texas Junior College in Uvalde, where he met Kurt Johnson and Bob McKinney, who taught him in art and photography classes, respectively. He credits the two with helping him lay the foundation of his career.

“Looking back on my career I can say that I’m truly blessed,” Flores said. “God has put good people on my path. Anyone who has met me can say that a part of them is in the Smithsonian. I couldn’t have done it without them.”

He is the son of Bertha Flores of Uvalde and the late Heliodoro Flores. He said his parents and his siblings, Carlos (of Uvalde) and Martha (Avalos, of Corpus Christi) were supportive and encouraging.

While the Coca-Cola advertisement was chosen for the exhibit, others have special places in his memory. He describes a Western Union television campaign shoot in Mexico and Latin America as a humbling experience, as he was able to see where his ancestors originated.

He is also proud of a billboard campaign for Bud Light in which his team used computer-generated images – before it was the norm.

Sosa, Bromley, Aguilar and Associates, rebranded as Bromley Communications, closed in 2015. Other materials, including television commercials, print ads and business documents from the San Antonio-based firm were donated to the Smithsonian Institute’s archive center. Selections are on display alongside other popular advertising campaigns.

The “American Enterprise” exhibit opened in July of 2015, and Flores’ work is included in a digital display. The exhibit covers the mid-1700s to present-day America in 8,000 square feet.

For more information about the exhibit, visit http://americanhistory.si.edu/american-enterprise. Admission to the museum is free, and it is open year-round except on Christmas Day. It is located in Washington, D.C.

mgarcia@ulnnow.com, 278-3335

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