Jesús Moroles, Sculptor, 1950-2015.
Jesús Bautista Moroles died yesterday in a car accident north of Austin, near Georgetown. The Rockport Pilot reports that the artist returned to Rockport from an installation in Dallas in order to report for jury duty on Monday, then left in the evening, headed towards Oklahoma to begin work on his next commissioned piece. As he was traveling on IH35, Moroles was involved in the deadly car accident.
Born in Corpus Christi in 1950, Moroles was an internationally renowned sculptor and National Medal of Arts honoree whose work has been featured in museums and institutions around the world, including the White House and the Smithsonian Institute. In 1978, he received his BFA at the University of North Texas, Denton, after which he served as apprentice to sculptor Luis Jiménez and then spent a year working in Pietrasanta, Italy.
In 1981, Moroles purchased his first large diamond saw, which began his long-term commitment to create a studio in Rockport. By 1983, the Moroles studio became a family effort involving his parents Jose and Maria, his brother, Hilario, his sister, Suzanna, and brother-in-law, Kurt Kangas. In 1987, Moroles completed his most visible work, “Lapstrake,” a 64-ton, 22-foot-tall sculpture located across the street from the Museum of Modern Art in New York. His largest single work is the 1991 site sculpture, the “Houston Police Officers Memorial.” There are also several sculptures by Moroles in his hometown in the sculpture garden at the Rockport Center for the Arts.