JESUS MOROLES: Granite Sculpture
JESUS MOROLES: Granite Sculpture
Jesús Bautista Moroles of Rockport, Texas and, truly, a beloved citizen of the world passed away June 15, 2015. Services will be under the direction of Charlie Marshall funeral home in Rockport.
Jesús was born in Corpus Christi, Texas, then spending the better part of his upbringing in Dallas, Texas, Jesús Moroles achieved international renown as a master sculptor of large scale abstract granite works and was a recipient of the United States National Medal of Arts in 2008, the 2007 Texas Medal of the Arts Award for Visual Arts, and was the 2011 Texas State Artist for three-dimensional work. He was on the Board of Commissioners of the National American Art Museum, Smithsonian Institution, Washington, D.C., was a board member for many years of the International Sculpture Center also in the nation’s capitol, and he served in his highly cherished Texas as a board member of the Texas Cultural Trust. Moroles was known for his nurturing of young artists.
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Moroles began selling his artwork as early in life as during elementary school. He served four years in the United States Air Force during the Vietnam War before setting off to study sculpture in Italy. He sold a piece of his art to study in Pietrasanta where Michelangelo practiced, pulling stone from the same quarry as the great Italian renaissance sculptor. He earned an Associate Degree from El Centro College and a Bachelor of Fine Arts from the University of North Texas, where he was a long-time member of the Visual Arts Advisory Board. In 1983 Moroles established his studio in Rockport to handle large granite stone. Integral to the studio operations, his parents Jose and Maria, his brother, Hilario, sister Suzanna and brother-in-law, Kurt Kangas contributed to the massive projects that characterize his work. “Lapstrake”, a 64 ton, 22 foot tall sculpture stands in the E. F. Hutton, CBS Plaza in New York City. Jesús is one of the very select few artists who was commissioned to place a large piece on the Great Wall of China. His art also is in the American Embassy to Mexico and at the residence of the 43rd President of the United States of America.
The Houston Police Officers Memorial, one of that city’s most revered works of art, is his largest sculpture and is an earthen stepped pyramid that also extends below ground level in a mirror of the ascending extrusions. Other commissions include the Granite Sculpture Plaza at the Edwin A. Ulrich Museum of Art, Wichita, Kansas, The Oklahoma Medical Research Foundation, Granite Gardens, Birmingham Botanical Gardens, Birmingham, Alabama, to name only a few. His art resides in countries around the world including China, Egypt, France, Italy, Mexico and Switzerland.
When asked about the importance of art in education, Moroles said, “Because of art, I stayed in school. I don’t think that I am gifted, I think that I am a hard worker and through hard work you can do anything that you want.” A value that Jesús attributed to learning by example from his mom and dad, who, in Jesús’ proud claims about his parents, always encouraged him to follow his dreams.
In actuality a creative genius, Jesús said of his sculptures, “My work is a discussion of how man exists in nature and touches nature and uses nature. Each of my pieces has about 50 percent of its surfaces untouched and raw—those are parts of the stone that were torn. The rest of the work is smoothed and polished. The effect, which I want people to not only look at but touch, is a harmonious coexistence of the two.”
Publisher: HERRING PRESS INC; 1st edition, edition (2004)