The Rockport Cultural Arts District (RCAD) is continuing to collaborate with artist Steve Russell on his “Cultural Interface” sculpture project, documenting the multi-cultural heritage of Aransas County, including the contributions of early Native American, Hispanic, and other nationalities and ethnicities. RCAD is sponsoring Russell’s sculptures with fundraising and management roles, collaborating with the Aransas County Navigation District.
The first of the two groupings in Russell’s series are currently in the molding and bronzing process at Hefestus Fine Arts, while Russell continues to conceptualize the final design for the second grouping.
In an ongoing dialogue to listen to input from representative members of different indigenous groups and community organizations, Russell, and RCAD Executive Director Jennifer Day, have met with Larry “Running Turtle” Salazar, a Corpus Christi leader and advocate for regional Native peoples. They discussed how Salazar and others might be included in programs in Rockport to raise awareness about Indigenous cultures.
“The RCA, like the other 51 districts throughout Texas, celebrates the different ethnicities and cultures that have influenced our communities,” said Day. “We’ve recognized Black, Hispanic and Vietnamese groups in our programs and activities, and Steve’s sculptures are a tribute to Indigenous peoples’ roles in our culture. As Joseph Fox of the Fulton Mansion noted in a letter to the editor of The Rockport Pilot, we see these sculptures as a ‘place to start conversations about local history,’ including Hispanic and Native American history, that remains relevant but largely unknown.”
Russell’s artist statement about this work is available at https://www.steverussellart.com/blog.
More information about the sculpture project can also be found at https://rockportculturalartsdistrict.com/steve-russells-cultural-interface-sculpture-project-update/.