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Read The 3-D Adventures of David, TJ and Carolann In Lampasas   Then what

How The 3-D Adventures of
David, TJ and Carolann
in Lampasas Came
to Be ...
and then what happened ...

by TJ Mabrey

Nancy Gray, owner of Fourth Street Gallery and Frameshop in Lampasas, is a big thinking artist in a small town. Even though we are just up the road from Austin (about 1 1/2 hour with traffic) with all its galleries and museums, Nancy wanted an active art community and an art awareness in Lampasas.

She would really like to establish an art colony here I think!

Why not. We have some beautiful countryside still left, and real estate is relatively cheap — compared to the big cities. But we are so very close to the big city — just close enough for the big city to visit Lampasas on weekends.

Bringing in tourists through art is nothing new!

So, she plotted with her (downtown) next door neighbor, and collaborator on the project, to organize a sculpture symposium — bringing the carving process and the resulting sculptures to the folks in Lampasas.

There was a new city park in the backyard of the town square — perfect for sculpture — and so with a lot of help from friends and art lovers, Nancy went about making plans and raising money for the symposium to take place — never for a moment realizing the amount of time and frustration that such an event can bring with it. But she's young and full of energy. On top of her gallery and framing business, she is a full time artist as well.

I'm not the only sculptor in Lampasas County — but, apparently, the only one who had participated in a carving symposium before, so Nancy asked me for my suggestions on who, what, why, when and where questions about an "on-site" carving symposium. I gave her the name of several organizations in Dallas and Austin where she could inquire about sculptors who might be interested in such a project.

I also gave her the name of David Hickman. I've known David since we were students together of Master Sculptor, Octavio Medellin, of Dallas. That was about 30 years ago!

Carolann Haggard was living and working in Italy when we first met about 15 years ago. I knew she had done large scale works, she had been a teacher of art and a promoter of art in public places. When Nancy pressed me for names of sculptors I knew, I suggested Carolann.

I know other sculptors in the State, but none as well as I knew these two. And I believed them to
be individuals who could provide a range of talent, who were dependable, and had the public relations skills necessary for the type of community-based art symposium Nancy wanted to have in our small town.

There doesn't seem to be a way to make this long story short. But if I had to, I'd say: Nancy wanted sculpture in our city park. I'm a sculptor and a friend to Nancy. Nancy wanted more than one sculptor to carve "on site" in the park. So, I gave Nancy the names of two friends who are sculptors. Nancy and her committee interviewed my two friends, and all agreed to participate.

The sculptures and the symposium ended happily for everyone.


Then What Happened...

I think it's just wonderful, J.R. Though - to capture the intense discussion that preceeds the final decision on — shall we participate?, shall we ask them to participate?, how shall I participate?, where shall
the sculptures be placed?, etc. — all those mental and verbal activities that transpire before the contract is signed — well, one can't express that, I guess. And that has been part of the creative process.

I began thinking about this project before January of this year. The results didn't happen quickly. But, it seems, the end came very quickly.

It's a bit of a let-down when everyone goes home and you have to face an empty refigerator, a sink full of dishes, sheets that have been on the bed far too long, and a vehicle full of tools that need to be put away.

Today it's been about one month since the end of the symposium, and my sculpture was the first, and only one, to be tagged by the local gangs. A not so unattractive prussian blue spray paint was used by local malcontents to write names and symbols on all four columns of my sculptures.

Three employees of the park department, and I, spent 5 hours working to get the paint off.

It doesn't look too bad. Perhaps when the stone dries the evidence of this violation will not be visable. But I was told the vandals will probaby return — spray can in hand. Who would have thought it would end — so soon — like this. For me, the process was the art. For others, the art is to be processed.

Oh well ... much love. And thanks, J.R. You make it better.



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