Jesús Moroles

Last updated
Jesús B. Moroles
Born(1950-09-22)September 22, 1950
DiedJune 15, 2015(2015-06-15) (aged 64)
Education Luis Jiménez (sculptor)
Alma materUniversity of North Texas
Known forSculpture
AwardsUnited States National Medal of Arts

Jesús Bautista Moroles (September 22, 1950 – June 15, 2015) was an American sculptor, known for his monumental abstract granite works. He lived and worked in Rockport, Texas, where his studio and workshop were based, and where all of his work was prepared and finished before being shipped out for installation. In 2008, he was awarded the National Medal of Arts. Over two thousand works by Moroles are held in public and private collections in the United States, China, Egypt, France, Italy, Japan, and Switzerland. [1]

Granite A common type of intrusive, felsic, igneous rock with granular structure

Granite is a common type of felsic intrusive igneous rock that is granular and phaneritic in texture. Granites can be predominantly white, pink, or gray in color, depending on their mineralogy. The word "granite" comes from the Latin granum, a grain, in reference to the coarse-grained structure of such a holocrystalline rock. Strictly speaking, granite is an igneous rock with between 20% and 60% quartz by volume, and at least 35% of the total feldspar consisting of alkali feldspar, although commonly the term "granite" is used to refer to a wider range of coarse-grained igneous rocks containing quartz and feldspar.

Rockport, Texas City in Texas, United States

Rockport is a city in Aransas County, Texas, United States. The population was 8,766 at the 2010 census. It is the county seat.


Houston Police Officer's Memorial Houston Police Officer's Memorial2.jpg
Houston Police Officer's Memorial


Moroles was born in Corpus Christi, Texas. He earned an associate degree from El Centro College in Dallas, Texas in 1975, and a Bachelor of Fine Arts from the University of North Texas in 1978. Also in 1978, he was an apprentice to sculptor Luis Jiménez. [2] After studying for a year in Italy in 1980, he returned to Texas and began producing his trademark large-scale granite sculptures. [3] Jesús also served for 4 years in the United States Air Force.

Corpus Christi, Texas City in Texas, United States

Corpus Christi, colloquially Corpus, is a coastal city in the South Texas region of the U.S. state of Texas. The county seat of Nueces County, it also extends into Aransas, Kleberg, and San Patricio Counties. It is 130 miles southeast of San Antonio. Its political boundaries encompass Nueces Bay and Corpus Christi Bay. Its zoned boundaries include small land parcels or water inlets of three neighboring counties.

El Centro College community college

El Centro College is a community college in Dallas, Texas. It is part of the Dallas County Community College District (DCCCD)

University of North Texas public research university based in Denton, TX, USA

The University of North Texas (UNT) is a public research university in Denton, Texas. Eleven colleges, two schools, an early admissions math and science academy for exceptional high-school-age students from across the state, and a library system comprise the university core. Its research is driven by about 38 doctoral degree programs. North Texas was founded as a nonsectarian, coeducational, private teachers college in 1890 and was formally adopted by the state 11 years later. UNT is the flagship institution of the University of North Texas System, which includes additional universities in Dallas and Fort Worth. UNT also has a satellite campus in Frisco.

One of his first commissions was "Floating Mesa Fountain" for the Albuquerque Museum. [4] In 1987, he created one of his best-known pieces, "Lapstrake," for CBS Plaza in New York City. [4] His largest work is the Houston Police Officer's Memorial, which was installed in 1990 in Houston, Texas. [4] In 1995, he created three rose-colored granite works for the entrance to the Edwin A. Ulrich Museum in Wichita, Kansas, which are entitled Granite Landscape, Granite Weaving, and Fountain Wall. [5] In 1997, he created the public art piece "The Fallen Friend" for the New Mexico Veterans Memorial Park, which consists of 84 Portland cement pylons. [4] [6] In 2005, he installed the work Gateway Stele at Lubben Plaza in Dallas, Texas. [7] His works are displayed in numerous museums in the United States and other countries, including the personal White House Collection[ citation needed ], the Albuquerque Museum, the New Mexico Museum of Art, the Dallas Museum of Art, the Museum of Fine Arts, Houston, and the Smithsonian Institution. [4]

New York City Largest city in the United States

The City of New York, usually called either New York City (NYC) or simply New York (NY), is the most populous city in the United States. With an estimated 2017 population of 8,622,698 distributed over a land area of about 302.6 square miles (784 km2), New York is also the most densely populated major city in the United States. Located at the southern tip of the state of New York, the city is the center of the New York metropolitan area, the largest metropolitan area in the world by urban landmass and one of the world's most populous megacities, with an estimated 20,320,876 people in its 2017 Metropolitan Statistical Area and 23,876,155 residents in its Combined Statistical Area. A global power city, New York City has been described as the cultural, financial, and media capital of the world, and exerts a significant impact upon commerce, entertainment, research, technology, education, politics, tourism, art, fashion, and sports. The city's fast pace has inspired the term New York minute. Home to the headquarters of the United Nations, New York is an important center for international diplomacy.

Houston Police Officers Memorial

The Houston Police Officer Memorial is a piece of public art erected in Houston, Texas, in 1991, to recognize the sacrifices made by city police officers and to honor those who have lost their lives in the line of duty. The monument is a large-scale granite sculpture by artist Jesús Bautista Moroles.

Wichita, Kansas City and county seat in Kansas, United States

Wichita is the largest city in the U.S. state of Kansas and the county seat of Sedgwick County. As of 2017, the estimated population of the city was 390,591. Wichita is the principal city of the Wichita metropolitan area which had an estimated population of 644,610 in 2015.

In June 2015, Moroles's work Spirit Inner Columns was installed in the Hall Arts complex in Dallas. [8] The work consists of four 15-foot, 10,000 pound granite columns. [8]

On June 15, 2015 Moroles was killed in a car accident on I-35 near Jarrell, TX. [9] At the time of his death, he was leading a student internship program at the University of Science and Arts of Oklahoma, where he had been artist-in-residence and primary designer for the university's Coming Together Park. [10] Moroles's studio in Rockport will work with USAO to finish the park, and the university is planning an event honoring Moroles for September 2015. [11]

Interstate 35 in Texas is a major north–south Interstate Highway running from Laredo near the United States-Mexico border to the Red River north of Gainesville where it crosses into Oklahoma. Along its route, it passes through the cities of San Antonio, Austin, and Waco before it splits into two auxiliary routes just north of Hillsboro. Interstate 35E heads northeast where it passes through Dallas. Interstate 35W turns northwest to run through Fort Worth. The two branches meet up in Denton to again form Interstate 35, where it continues to the Oklahoma border. The exit numbers for Interstate 35E maintain the sequence of exit numbers from the southern segment of Interstate 35, and the northern segment of Interstate 35 follows on from the sequence of exit numbers from Interstate 35E. Interstate 35W maintains its own sequence of exit numbers.

University of Science and Arts of Oklahoma

The University of Science and Arts of Oklahoma, or USAO, is a public liberal arts college located in Chickasha, Oklahoma. It is the only public college in Oklahoma with a strictly liberal arts-focused curriculum and is a member of the Council of Public Liberal Arts Colleges. USAO is an undergraduate-only institution and grants Bachelor's Degrees in a variety of subject areas. The school was founded in 1908 as a school for women and from 1912 to 1965 was known as Oklahoma College for Women. It became coeducational in 1965 and today educates approximately 1,000 students. In 2001, the entire Oklahoma College for Women campus was listed as a National Historic District.


Museums where Moroles's works are displayed include the Dallas Museum of Art, Modern Art Museum of Fort Worth, Museum of Contemporary Art in Osaka, Japa), Museum of Fine Arts in Houston, Museum of Fine Arts in Santa Fe, New Mexico, Albuquerque Museum, and the Smithsonian American Art Museum. Moroles' sculptures have been included in over three hundred museum and gallery exhibitions worldwide. [1]

His sculptures are also displayed in the corporate offices of American Airlines (Dallas/Ft. Worth, TX), ATT (Dallas), City Group (NY, commissioned by E. F. Hutton), Credit Suisse (NY and Houston), American General Corporation (Houston), Texaco (Houston), Trammel Crow (Dallas), Viacom (NY, commissioned by CBS), the Woodlands Corporation (Woodlands, TX), and the lobby of downtown Houston's Hilton Americas-Houston hotel. [1]

His public art works include the China International City Sculpture in Beijing, Houston's Hermann Park, the Houston Police Officers Memorial, and Xiadu Park in Yanquing, China. [1]

Style and Technique

While he studied in Italy, Moroles was inspired by the marble-carving techniques he observed. [5] When he returned to Texas, he decided that he would focus on stone as an artistic medium. [5] To cut granite, Moroles used diamond saws. [12] Moroles's works include both polished and natural granite surfaces in what he described as a "harmonious coexistence." [13] He described his works as a "discussion" of how man interacts with nature, and he wanted viewers not only to observe his sculptures but also to touch the different surfaces. [13]


Moroles received state and national-level awards for his work. In 2007, he was awarded the Texas Medal of the Arts. [2] In 2008, Moroles was awarded the National Medal of Arts. [14] In 2011, he was designated a Texas State Artist by the Texas Commission on the Arts. [7] [15]

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  1. 1 2 3 4 "Jesus Moroles, Sculptor: Houston Garden of the Spheres," Houston-Shenzhen Sister City Association, site copyright 2004, accessed February 12, 2016.
  2. 1 2 "Jesús Moroles," Texas Medal of the Arts Awards, Accessed June 18, 2015.
  3. Pugh, Clifford. "Jesús Moroles, creator of beloved Houston granite sculpture, is killed in auto accident," CultureMap:Houston, June 16, 2015. Accessed June 18, 2016.
  4. 1 2 3 4 5 Roberts, Kathaleen. "Sculptor Jesus Moroles killed in Texas car accident," Albuquerque Journal, June 19, 2015. Accessed June 19, 2015.
  5. 1 2 3 "Fountain Wall," Wichita State University, page last modified on September 16, 2011. Accessed June 18, 2015.
  6. "The Fallen Friend, (sculpture)," Smithsonian Institution, Accessed June 19, 2015.
  7. 1 2 Granberry, Michael. "Renowned Texas sculptor Jesús Moroles dies in car wreck," Dallas Morning News, June 16, 2015. Accessed June 18, 2015.
  8. 1 2 Weeks, Jerome. "Renowned Texas Sculptor Jesus Moroles Dies In Car Accident", ArtSeek, June 16, 2015. Accessed June 18, 2015.
  9. "Artist Moroles dies in accident," The Rockport Pilot, June 16, 2015. Accessed June 16, 2015.
  10. "USAO Mourns the Loss of Jesús Moroles," University of Science and Arts of Oklahoma, June 16, 2015. Accessed June 18, 2015.
  11. Arnold, Kelly. "USAO campus park project continues to come together despite artist's death," The Oklahoman, June 30, 2015. Accessed July 1, 2015.
  12. Priest, Jessica. "Nave Museum features granite sculptor Jesus Moroles ," Victoria Advocate, March 28, 2013. Accessed June 18, 2015.
  13. Joel Moreau, "Stan Lee, Olivia de Havilland Win Medal of Arts Honors", Washington Post , Nov. 17, 2008
  14. "State Artists (Visual Art)," Texas Commission on the Arts. Accessed June 18, 2015.