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TTU System Remembers Texas Artist

Jesus Moroles created three pieces for the Lubbock campus of the Texas Tech University System.

June 19, 2015 | Contact Emily Wilkinson

Square Spiral Arch"Square Spiral Arch," by Jesus Moroles

Talented Texas sculptor Jesus Moroles, who created two memorable pieces for the Texas Tech University System Public Art Collection, was killed in a car accident earlier this week, according to published reports.

The Rockport Pilot reported Moroles, who lived and worked in Rockport, left his hometown for Oklahoma, where he was to begin his next commissioned piece, but he was killed while traveling on Interstate 35 in central Texas. Moroles was 64.

“The Texas Tech University System Public Art Committee was saddened to hear of the loss of renowned Texas sculptor Jesus Moroles,” said Emily Wilkinson, public art manager. “He is known internationally for his monumental stone sculptures. We feel especially fortunate to have three of these pieces on the Texas Tech campus in Lubbock. He often stated that, ‘Through hard work, you can do anything you want.’ We hope that his sculptures on campus will serve as a reminder to others that anything is possible.”

Moroles created “Lapstrake,” installed in 2005 near the electrical engineering and computer science building, and “Square Spiral Arch,” its companion piece installed a year later near the biology building.

The gifted artist also contributed a granite windmill that is on display at the National Ranching Heritage Center.

Moroles left a tremendous art legacy across Texas. One of his most noted works, according to a report in Culture Map Houston is the mammoth Houston police memorial, a granite earthen stepped pyramid surrounded by four equal inverted stepped pyramids excavated from the ground. It was completed in 1991 and remains his largest single work measuring 120 by 120 square feet.

Lapstrake"Lapstrake," by Jesus Moroles

Windmill"Windmill," by Jesus Moroles

Other large-scale works include the 22-foot sculpture fountain called “Floating Mesa Fountain” at the Albuquerque Museum and an environmental installation of 45 sculptural elements and fountains for the Birmingham Botanical Garden in Alabama, according to the Culture Map Houston report.

Moroles was born in Corpus Christi and earned a bachelor of fine arts degree from North Texas State University in 1978. His talent began to gain notice when he started sculpting from granite after studying for a year in Italy in 1980, Culture Map Houston reported.

About the Public Art Program 
The TTU System’s 
Public Art Program was initiated by the Board of Regents in 1998 to enrich the campus environment and extend each university’s educational mission. Through the program, public artworks are funded using one percent of the estimated total cost of each new major capital project. Since then, more than 100 items created by some of today’s leading artists have been added to the TTU System’s campuses. 

About the Texas Tech University System 
The Texas Tech University System is one of the top public university systems in the nation, consisting of four component institutions —Texas Tech UniversityTexas Tech University Health Sciences CenterAngelo State University and Texas Tech University Health Sciences Center El Paso—and operating at 12 academic sites and centers.  Headquartered in Lubbock, Texas, the Texas Tech University System has an annual operating budget of $1.7 billion and approximately 17,000 employees focused on advancing higher education, health care, research and outreach around the globe.  

In 2014, the Texas Tech University System endowment exceeded $1 billion, total research expenditures were approximately $215 million and total enrollment approached 47,000 students. Whether it’s contributing billions of dollars annually in economic impact or being the only system in Texas to house an academic institution, law school and medical school at the same location, the Texas Tech University System continues to prove that anything is possible.