Last December, we directed your attention to the publicly funded sculptures dropped in front of Fire Station No. 35 near the Marsh-Walnut Hill intersection -- otherwise known as "Elemental Forces," my favorite Triumph album. Some of the Friends of Unfair Park dug the rocks; others, less so. But the artist -- Eliseo Garcia -- gets the last laugh, as today the Texas Commission on the Arts sends word that Garcia's been named the Texas State Three-Dimensional Artist for 2009. Dunno quite what it means, but I do see that Willie Nelson's the '09 Texas State Musician (former Dallasite Sara Hickman takes the honor next year, so mazel tov in advance), while Karla K. Morton of Denton is the 2010 Texas State Poet Laureate, so much for suspense.
"State artists demonstrate the essence of what art in Texas is all about," says Rep. Mark Homer, chair of the House of Representative's Committee on Culture, Recreation and Tourism. "The work of these artists, and others like them, ensures that art and culture thrives in our great state, and we are pleased to honor these talented men and women with this recognition." After the jump, what the TCA's official release has to say about Garcia:
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Eliseo Garcia was born and raised in the neighborhood known as "Little Mexico" in Dallas, Texas. Garcia graduated from North Dallas High School and, while attending El Centro College, was drafted by the United States Army. After his military tour in Vietnam, Garcia returned to complete his education. He received his Associate of Arts degree from El Centro and earned a Bachelor of Fine Arts degree in Painting and Sculpture from the University of North Texas.
Marriage, raising a family, and a variety of occupations challenged and motivated him to continue his quest of becoming a full-time professional artist. Garcia's source of inspiration comes from his family, his greatest supporters. He has always held a passion for art. As a child he would challenge himself to see what he could construct with pieces of wood and metal scraps. His introduction to public art came in 1996 when he was awarded the Dallas Area Rapid Station Westmoreland Project to design and create a monumental stone sculpture titled Cycles of Life.