A new art project at Kiest Park pays tribute to the musical contributions of Dallas natives and revered blues guitarists Jimmie and Stevie Ray Vaughan. The artwork - We Are Music and Music is Us - honors the brothers as significant influencers in the music industry and in the history and culture of Dallas.
The City of Dallas Park and Recreation Department and City of Dallas Office of Arts and Culture officially welcome the contemporary, metal sculpture at 4 p.m. Sunday, October 3 at Kiest Park, 3080 S. Hampton Road. Jimmie Vaughan and Kirby Warnock will have remarks during a brief presentation. Warnock -- documentary film writer, producer and director -- spearheaded fundraising activities for the art piece.
Almost 100 City of Dallas parks feature diverse public artworks, said park officials. “Parks connect us to outdoor spaces and public art bridges that connection. Art tells stories, starts conversations, and encourages visitors to appreciate diverse visual art forms,” said John D. Jenkins, Director, Dallas Park and Recreation.
Basque artist Casto Solano created the art to acknowledge the Vaughans’ talents and as an invitation for music fans to reminisce and enjoy their music. We Are Music and Music is Us can serve as a stage or background for small concerts, “linking the material world with the ephemeral ecstasy of music,” according to Solano. “The sculpture creates a place of belonging on which to forge our images together with theirs. A piece that will stand as a homage to two remarkable men,” he added.
The sculpture is constructed from four COR-TEN or weathering steel-framed screens, formed by ribbons of cut metal. Panels measuring 10’ x 8’ each show imagery of the brothers’ lives and music including their images and lyrics to their most well-known work Tick-Tock. It stands near the trail crosswalk off the park’s main entrance.
“This is a wonderful recognition to these gifted brothers who grew up in Oak Cliff and transformed music worldwide. We are excited to spotlight this harmonious and energetic tribute to the Vaughan brothers in our park system,” Jenkins added.
The siblings were born and grew up in Oak Cliff near where the sculpture stands. They started playing guitar as children, and by their mid-teens, they were semi-professional musicians. Relocating to Austin in the 1970s, they formed individual bands that influenced the blues revival of the 1980s. Stevie Ray Vaughan died in 1990.
Warnock, widely known for From Nowhere: The Story of the Vaughan Brothers, established The Vaughan Brothers Art Project to raise money to build and maintain the artwork. Individuals and foundation donations to Vaughanbrosart.com totaled more than $60,000 for the project with major donors including The Cabaniss Family Foundation, Jeffrey Stephen Davis, John Dennis, The Kessler Theater, The North Texas Music Foundation, The Oak Cliff Foundation and Warnock.