After two long years of planning and negotiating, The Vaughan Brothers Art Project is finally ready to get cracking. The public art project will memorialize two of Dallas’ biggest contributors to the world of popular music, Jimmie Vaughan and his late brother Stevie Ray Vaughan. And now it's officially a go.
Today, the Dallas City Council voted to approve a contract that would allow Spanish artist Casto Solano to begin work on the piece, which will be placed in Kiest Park upon completion. The Vaughan Brothers Art Project, led by Kirby Warnock, raised more than $16,000 to produce the statue. The remainder of the funds, $74,000, were allotted from a 2006 bond election designated to create a future monument honoring the late Stevie Ray Vaughan.
“Once you get to this point, it’s almost a rubber stamp,” says Warnock. “The Parks Board has approved it, the Office of Cultural Affairs has approved it, so we’re just going through the motions."
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From the beginning, Warnock says that the project faced no major opposition. “The only concerns we got were people wondering what the design was going to look like,” he says. “When people saw the final design, they loved it. Even I was surprised at how good it was. Any time you open it up for people to submit their own ideas, you never know what you’re going to get.”
As soon as the vote is final, Solano will be able to get to work. “Once they approve the contract, the Office of Cultural Affairs will send the artist a check, and he’ll start working on building the art,” says Warnock. “He’s going to ship it to Dallas from Spain, and then he’ll come over here and install it.”
Solano was chosen, in part, because his design offered longevity for the monument. “Wind will be able to pass through the rods, so it can’t blow down. People can’t climb on it, and it will be hard to vandalize,” says Warnock. “That was part of the reason that we chose this design.”
Warnock estimates that the statue will be ready for unveiling by summer 2017, at which time The Vaughan Brothers Art Project will host “some type of event or celebration” to mark its installation. At present, the statue is already in the works, which means that all any Vaughan enthusiast can do is wait for it to be unveiled.