The Stevie Ray Vaughan-Jimmie Vaughan monument long planned for Oak Cliff’s Kiest Park is now scheduled to be unveiled in March.
Jennifer Scripps, the head of the Office of Cultural Affairs, said Spanish artist Casto Solano’s four-panel piece has not yet arrived, though it was originally due to land here in December. A new date for the unveiling was penciled in a couple of weeks ago. Said Scripps, it just couldn’t be helped.
“The artist made it taller than was originally envisioned,” she said of the work approved by the city more than three years ago. “Now it’s more like a sail, and in the Texas wind, that could be a problem. So the foundation has to be redesigned, and that meant a delay.”
Since it’s been so long, here’s a reminder of how the city describes the tribute: “The proposed sculpture consists of four corten steel framed screens with images of Stevie Ray and Jimmie Vaughan cut into the metal. Each panel will show images of the Vaughan Brothers’ lives, including photos/stills of both brothers and their song lyrics.”
And on his website, Solano even gives it a name: We Are Music & Music Is Us.
Kay Kallos, who oversees Dallas’ public art, said originally Solano’s piece was to be 8 feet tall; now, it’s closer to 10. And, she said, the state requires the work to withstand winds of up to 90 mph. That necessitated re-engineering the foundation.
“It got bigger and better,” said Scripps of the artwork that will stand only a few blocks from where Stevie and big brother Jimmie grew up on Glenfield Avenue. “And that has meant it won’t be done this year.”
Back in May 2018, filmmaker Kirby Warnock, who helped raise the $68,000 needed to build and maintain the artwork, said it would be ready for planting in the fall of that year. But Kallos said the project, which also cost $74,000 in bond dollars, was always meant for a December 2019 unveiling.
Well … until a couple of weeks ago.
Scripps said Wednesday she’s asked frequently when the sculpture will arrive. Kallos said in a separate interview she’s “in daily conversations with Kirby Warnock to keep him up to date,” as he helped fund it and stayed with this project long after others gave up.
But as far as Kallos is concerned, the new date works out just fine: Jimmie Vaughan’s birthday is March 20, when he turns 69. Said Kallos, “That’s the date Jimmie requested.”