Trinity Lutheran Church on Gaston Avenue in Dallas is being torn down to make way for a new YMCA at White Rock. But the church building contains four abstract, stained-glass windows from 1960, created by Dallas artist Octavio Medellin. The YMCA donated the windows to the City of Dallas.
Now the city’s Office of Cultural Affairs is working to re-install them in the lobby of the City Performance Hall in the Arts District. Several of Medellin’s students from his years teaching at SMU and UNT have asked if they could help. So the city has launched a Kickstarter campaign, Windows at Dallas City Performance Hall, to help raise part of the $140,000 needed to cover the costs. UPDATE: The OCA has run into trouble launching the Kickstarter campaign. Word is, it’ll be going tomorrow, Wednesday.
Art conservator Michael van Enter of Van Enter Studios is overseeing the transfer and installation of Medellin’s windows: “Dallas Cultural Affairs has stepped up to the plate,” he says, because Medellin was “a very integral part of both the Hispanic community and the arts community in Dallas.”
Medellin was born in Mexico but fled to the United States during the Mexican Revolution. He settled in San Antonio but later studied at the Art Institute of Chicago. In 1938, he began teaching at UNT (then the North Texas State Teachers College) and later at SMU and what was then the Dallas Museum of Fine Arts. In 1966, he opened the Medellin School of Sculpture in Dallas. He died in 1999. His artworks are in the Smithsonian, the Dallas Museum of Art and the Amon Carter.
Left to right, The Father, The Son and the Holy Ghost (details). Images from SMU Digital Collections
The full press release follows:
DALLAS OFFICE OF CULTURAL AFFAIRS WORKS TO PRESERVE HISTORIC ARTWORK;
LAUNCHES REINSTALLATION FUNDRAISING CAMPAIGN
DALLAS: The City of Dallas Office of Cultural Affairs is leading the effort to save three historically significant works of art by sculptor Octavio Medellin, originally created for Trinity Lutheran Church in 1960. In a public/private agreement, the three abstract stained glass windows were donated to the City by the YMCA of Metropolitan Dallas as they prepare for construction of the new YMCA at White Rock. Art conservator Michael van Enter with Van Enter Studios is overseeing the removal and restoration of the windows. A fundraising effort to reinstall the windows in Dallas City Performance Hall begins today and will continue to the end of the year. Trinity Lutheran Church is located at 7112 Gaston Avenue, Dallas 75214.
“We are thrilled that the YMCA made this generous donation to the City,” says Office of Cultural Affairs Director, Maria Muñoz-Blanco. “We plan to reinstall these historic windows into the lobby of Dallas City Performance Hall, where the natural light will show off Medellin’s exquisite craftsmanship and design. They will be a wonderful addition to the Dallas Arts District.”
The Office of Cultural Affairs is launching the Windows at Dallas City Performance Hall fundraising campaign to reinstall the windows in the Dallas Arts District. The online Kickstarter campaign seeks to raise $7500 for the installation; $2500 for each window. Donations begin at $25 and incentives range from on-site acknowledgements to invitations to the reinstallation party. To join the campaign, go to Kickstarter.com. The campaign runs through December, 31, 2013.
The Office of Cultural Affairs is also in discussion with Adopt-A-Monument, a Dallas-based public/private entity created to fund the conservation and maintenance of public sculpture and monuments in the City of Dallas. The organization has been instrumental in the rescue of other works in Dallas, including the Miguel Covarrubias mosaic that is now displayed at the Dallas Museum of Art.
“With help from the community, we’ll be able to display this work in a location that is highly accessible to the public,” says Public Art Manager, Kay Kallos. “I would like to thank Craig Reynolds from BRW Architects for bringing the project to our attention. We’re also grateful for the cooperation and support of the YMCA of Metropolitan Dallas and the Texas District Lutheran Church-Missouri Synod.”
ABOUT THE ARTIST
Medellin was well known for his generosity of spirit and eye for talent; traits that endeared him to his students and made him a force in bringing people together to make the most of their abilities. He was born in San Luis Potosi, Mexico in 1907 and fled to the United States during the Mexican Revolution. Medellin began his studies at the San Antonio Art Institute and later at the Chicago Art Institute. A trip to Mexico to study the art and culture of his native land inspired him for a lifetime and influenced his work throughout his career. In 1938, Medellin began teaching at North Texas State Teachers College, now the University of North Texas. He also worked at Southern Methodist University and the Dallas Museum of Fine Art School. Medellin was named an Honorary Life Member of the Texas Visual Arts Association in 1977. In 1966 he opened the Medellin School of Sculpture in Dallas and continued to teach until 1979. His work is included in major collections in North Texas and throughout the United States. Medellin’s artwork can be seen at the Dallas Museum of Art, the Meadows Museum at SMU, and the Amon Carter Museum of American Art in Fort Worth.
ABOUT THE OFFICE OF CULTURAL AFFAIRS
The Office of Cultural Affairs (OCA) provides opportunities for all Dallas citizens and visitors to have access to the arts and the means of cultural expression. The Office of Cultural Affairs works with its citizen advisory board, the Cultural Affairs Commission, to foster the development of the cultural system in Dallas. OCA provides a variety of programs and services, including the management and operations of cultural facilities, a public art program, cultural funding programs and WRR Radio. More information on the Office of Cultural Affairs’ programs can be found on its website at http://www.DallasCulture.org.
ABOUT THE CITY OF DALLAS PUBLIC ART PROGRAM
The City of Dallas Public Art Program works to enrich the quality of life for the citizens of Dallas and enhance the cultural appeal of the City to visitors by overseeing the integration of high-quality visual art into public spaces. The Program provides opportunities for local and regional artists as well as visual artists from around the globe through commissions of works of public art. The program also supports donations of public art to the City of Dallas that are subject to a review process for acceptance that includes members of the Public Art Committee and the Cultural Affairs Commission. The Public Art Program is a division of the City of Dallas Office of Cultural Affairs.