East Aldine releases JFK Statue renderings

ABOVE: Artists concept in rendering furnished by the Engineering Consultant shows a granite base for the statue, and extensive landscaping, paving, and lighting developed in the esplanade.
ABOVE: Artists concept in rendering furnished by the Engineering Consultant shows a granite base for the statue, and extensive landscaping, paving, and lighting developed in the esplanade.

Installation scheduled for this year on JFK Boulevard

EAST ALDINE – The East Aldine District Arts Committee, with Carlos Silva as chairman, has released new artist’s renderings of the proposed memorial statue that will be mounted in the esplanade of JFK Boulevard, at the Arline-Bender intersection.

Silva reported to the East Aldine board recently that the statue, which is a bust of the late president John F. Kennedy, is scheduled for construction and installation later this year. However, the consulting engineers, CobbFendley, reported that the cost for the granite base and the surrounding landscaping and pavement development had exceeded the budget, and they were working on a redesign that would cost less money.

A huge bust statue of the late president John F. Kennedy will soon mark the northern edge of the District, and greet travelers arriving from Intercontinental Airport.

ABOVE: The artist’s rendering shows detail of the JFK bust statue and the inscribed signage on the statue’s granite base. Lettering is in bronze, embedded into the granite. All renderings furnished by the East Aldine District and CobbFendley.

The Art Committee of the East Aldine District has recommended to the board the purchase and installation of a unique statue of JFK, sculpted by famed artist David Adickes. Adickes is known for the towering statue of Texas hero Sam Houston, which sits along the highway I-45 in Huntsville. The board agreed, and last year approved the purchase and the cost of engineering the installation.

The statue would be located in the median between the northbound and southbound lanes of JFK Boulevard, at the intersection with Aldine Bender.

According to Silva, the art committee has a number of projects that would bring public art to East Aldine. These include the Big Walls Big Dreams mural recently painted on the wall at the High Meadows library, Mini Murals on utility boxes, the JFK statue, and the gigantic mural scheduled for the lobby wall of the new East Aldine District office building, that tells the story graphically of the history of the Aldine Area. The public is welcome to visit the lobby of the East Aldine building to see the mural.

Also planned by the art committee is MURALFEST22, a day-long event commemorating community art and the repainting of the mural on the side of the High Meadows library.

The EAMD board voted to proceed with engineering work required for the JFK statue. CobbFendley was awarded a contract for $40,000, and the District plans to purchase the statue for $25,000. Additional funds would be required for the installation work.

The JFK statue proposal has received wide acclaim, bringing high quality art to the district which will enhance our reputation city-wide. Consultant David Hawes commented that in 20 years, the District has spent $60 million for water and sewer improvements, and public safety, so “it is time to improve the appearance in the District by spending these dollars.” The introduction of an art program is consistent with the original intent to enhance the quality of life in the district.

Born 1927 in Huntsville, Texas, David Adickes earned his undergraduate degree in physics and mathematics from Sam Houston State College (now University). The summer after graduation, he attended the Kansas City Art Institute and realized that art was what he really wanted to do. Adickes used his G.I. Bill to study painting in Paris with the modern master, Fernand Leger. He returned to Houston and began painting full-time.

In 1983, he was commissioned to make his first monumental sculpture, Virtuoso, which now resides at the Lyric Center in downtown Houston. Adickes also created the 76-foot tall figure of Sam Houston that stands on Interstate 45 just south of Huntsville.

He is known for the large statues he sculpts. He sculpted a 67-foot replica of Sam Houston for the city of Huntsville, Texas. In Lead, South Dakota, Adickes created 43 enormousness busts of each American president for display at an educational museum.

His workshop in Houston is open to the public and features many of his most outstanding works. Not intended to be a destination, the workshop/ gallery has turned into a destination, an often surprising site where one can see something out of the ordinary in the middle of an industrial part of Houston, Texas. Giant heads will occasionally sit in the parking lot and huge sculptures of the Beatles and former President Bush can be seen from the street. Occasionally one will find Adickes working in the shop, with his six employees, slowly crafting ever more extravagant work.