The Charles B. Goddard Center has extended the Jesús Moroles Granite Exhibition through March 24, 2009.

The Charles B. Goddard Center has extended the Jesús Moroles Granite Exhibition through March 24, 2009.

Among his distinctions, Moroles is a member of the board of the Smithsonian American Art Museum in Washington, D.C., a recipient of the 2007 Texas Medal of the Arts Award for Visual Arts by the Texas Cultural Trust and, most recently, a National Medal of Arts for the Visual Arts recipient.

The National Medal of Arts, established by Congress in 1984, is awarded by the president and managed by the National Endowment for the Arts.

Award recipients are selected based on their contributions to the creation, growth and support of the arts in the United States.

Moroles was recently recognized by President Bush for “his enduring achievements as a sculptor of stone.”

His granite sculptures are created through a “tearing” process where the artist drills small holes in the granite and put wedges into it. Then pressure is applied to the middle of the stone to tear it in a line or in a curve, opening up the middle of the granite to show all the crisp untouched granite.

Born in Corpus Christi, Texas, in 1950, Moroles received his bachelor of fine arts from the University of North Texas, Denton, in 1978 and apprenticed under Luis Jimenez for one year immediately after his graduation. In 1979, he left for Italy, where he worked in Pietrasanta, Italy for one year before starting his body of work for which he is widely known.

His most visible public sculpture is Lapstrake 1987, a massive 22 feet tall, 64-ton work located across from the Museum of Modern Art in New York.

Moroles has received significant national attention with his inclusion in the landmark exhibition Contemporary Hispanic Art in the United States, which was shown at major American museums. His largest-scale single work is the Houston Police Officers Memorial, dedicated in November 1992.

The Goddard Center’s Acquisition Committee initially contacted Moroles in February 2008 to discuss the acquisition of the sculpture Disc Sun for the center’s Centennial Sculpture Garden. The Westheimer Family Foundation provided the initial seed money for this acquisition. At that time exhibit committee member John Otey began a conversation about a possible sculpture exhibit in the center’s galleries.

“When the center’s acquisition committee agreed to present our request to the primary board of directors for approval to purchase ‘Disc Sun,’ I thought it would be a great opportunity to raise awareness of  the Center by having the Moroles exhibit,” Otey said. “The committee and board were enthusiastic and very supportive about the idea, and the project proceeded from there. It is a fantastic exhibit from an amazing world renowned, award-winning sculptor and I would encourage everyone to visit the exhibition while it is still here in Ardmore.”

Ardmore Chamber of Commerce President Wes Stucky said he is also pleased to have a nationally recognized artist exhibiting in Ardmore.

“The Moroles exhibit will impress the neophyte and the critic. Don’t miss seeing it!” Stucky said.