An Organization’s First Public Sculpture, Made By High School Students, Rises In Oak Cliff

The sculpture, the first of 29 pieces, is based on the Native American prayer “Let Me Walk in Beauty”.

By Bill ZeebleJanuary 10, 2017 9:30 am| , , , ,

From KERA.

On an Oak Cliff boulevard near the iconic Texas Theatre stands a colorful tree-trunk-like structure with a hand on top. The 17-and-a-half-foot sculpture’s only been there a few weeks and was officially dedicated this month.

The tall mosaic artwork peers out over West Jefferson Boulevard, thanks to an eye in the palm of its hand. At the base of the sculpture, tiles spell “My hands respect the things you have made,” and it all grew from ideas by two dozen high schoolers from Adamson, Sunset, and Booker T. Washington, among others.

“The hand, we got together as a group and tried to incorporate everyone’s idea into one totem pole,” Hope Trevino says.

She’s a 19-year-old graduate of Dallas Can Academy. She helped design and construct the work.

“It came from ‘Let me walk in beauty.’ Everything comes from this Indian prayer,” Trevino says.

The Indian prayer idea came from Karen Blessen, who, with Dr. Barbara Miller, co-founded of the nonprofit “29 Pieces.” Blessen’s a former artist for The Dallas Morning News. She helped create the group built on a philosophy of non-violence. The organization’s designed to inspire, teach and at times, employ kids to create public art for the city Blessen loves.

“And so the vision of this organization is to turn Dallas into a city of sculpture,” Blessen explains. “The ‘29 pieces’ refers to 29 pieces of sculpture that are inspired by phrases from the world’s visionaries and mystics and poets. And they’re all about, really they’re all about love.”

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