I was asked in 1976 by Mel Fowler, instigator of the sculpture garden, to contribute a bronze and I thought “Forgotten Ancestors” would be appropriate…the sculpture was one that I did in the early ’70s when we lived on a ranch north of Amarillo, Texas and depicts the skull of a longhorn in the river sand with a conquistador helmet and spur. The symbolism is that the Spanish explorers trailed their live commissary with them as they traveled, butchering them as needed. The longhorn skull is derived from a mold off a selected longhorn skull from the ranch at my home in Texas and the helmet and spur are from molds that I made from authenticated artifacts borrowed from the High Plains museum at Texas A & M University in Canyon, Texas. Longhorns have been a favorite of mine forever….we raised them as show and breeding stock at our small ranch between Leander, Texas and Round Rock, Texas. As a favored sculpture subject, I have used longhorns in many of my art pieces, including “Crossing the Canadian” and “the First Longhorn”, which won gold medals in the Texas Cowboy Artists Association annual shows…
Since 1968, Jim Thomas has worked as art bronze fondeur and sculptor. Thomas has a small foundry and fabrication shop with skilled artisans. Larger casting and sculpture projects include the 5-story “Tree of Life” sculpted brick park in Cleveland, Ohio; the full scale cast bronze Chisholm Trail Commemorative park in Round Rock, Texas; and the three-figure 12′ cast bronze Vietnam Memorial by Tony Pham for a park in Bellaire – Houston, Texas and six full scale cast bronze longhorn sculptures in Houston, Ft. Worth, El Paso, San Antonio, Abilene and Round Rock; and the “Forgotten Ancestors” bronze that is part of the Liberty Hill Sculpture Park.
Jim Thomas is a nationally published artist with numerous professional art association memberships, including Texas Society of Sculptors,Guild of Austin Architectural Artisans, Diocese of Austin. Among the many awards won, Thomas is a three-time “Gold Medalist” of the Texas Cowboy Artist Association. College training in earth sciences, chemistry, and metallurgy, combined with more than 43 years professional team experience with architects, engineers, government and private public art administrators are a foundation for his years of professional sculpting, art foundry, and metal fabrications experience.
for more information about Jim Thomas: http://www.jimthomasbronzestudio.com/