Granite and marble sculptor Jesus Moroles is returning to the beginning of his career as a sculptor creating an carved artwork to be placed in the city of Waxahachie. Commissioned by First Baptist Church, Morales will create a sculpture on the site of his original shop at Montgomery Granite and Marble.
The sculpture designed by Morales will be a series of stepping stones that will form a cross. In the corners of the cross will be marble benches for sitting.
“The design will be a plaza of stones where people can walk on them as if they were walking on water that will flow through the sculpture,” Morales said, describing the design and saying the placement of the artwork has special meaning to him.
The marble that will be used will be all Texas granites, including Fredericksburg granite and Texas pink granite.
The church will initially border the sculpture with a concrete curbing that will later be a border for a parking lot for the church. The church will also do the dirt work in preparation for Moroles to begin his work by installing the water lines and the actual laying of the stones.
Moroles has already started the pieces in his Rockport shop. Tyler O’Teeter of the church said the construction of the curbing and the dirt work where the sculpture will be located will start in about two weeks.
The sculpture will be on land purchased by the church two years ago. The land was the location of the former monument shop. After the passing of Bob Montgomery, the estate sold the land to the church. The sculpture will be west of Rogers, north of the railroad tracks and south of the existing church.
“The intersection of the cross is where my bedroom was in the shop,” Moroles said, saying that after meeting Montgomery at Mayfest in the early 1980s, “he agreed to let me set up my first studio there. It was named ‘The Sculpture Gallery Studio.’ ”
The Waxahachie studio is where he created his first pieces of commissioned work displayed throughout the United States.
“This is the first place I started. This is where I hung my first shingle as an artist,” he said.
Since leaving Waxahachie in the mid-1980s, Moroles has created sculptures and set up art showings in Washington, D.C., and many of the major cities in the United States, as well as in several foreign countries. He is working on a project in China.
He was the youngest recipient of the distinguished National Medal of Art from the government.
“This is a total donation to the community,” Moroles said, saying he welcomes any help when he starts his actual construction.
The dedication of the sculpture plaza is set for March 20, which coincides with the 150th anniversary celebration of the church.