Dallas Art Honoring Blues Artists Vaughan Brothers Planned

Plans are in the works in Dallas for an art piece honoring blues guitarist brothers Stevie Ray and Jimmie Vaughan at a park located just blocks from the home where they grew up.

Photo: Marty Lederhandler/AP, file
Rehearsing with his band Double Trouble for a performance on Saturday Night Live in New York.

The Dallas Morning News  reports that documentary filmmaker Kirby Warnock has been working since last year with Kay Kallos, the public art program manager in the City of Dallas’ Office of Cultural Affairs, to secure a spot in the Oak Cliff neighborhood’s Kiest Park to honor the late Stevie Ray Vaughan and his older brother, Jimmie Vaughan.

It’s “been a long, slow slog,” says Warnock, whose 2013 documentary “When Dallas Rocked” lamented the lack of a Stevie Ray Vaughan memorial in Dallas. “But it will be worth it.”

Stevie Ray Vaughan, a six-time Grammy winner, was killed in a 1990 helicopter crash at the age of 35. This month he’s set to be inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame.

“It’s kind of crazy to me that he’s going to the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame and we don’t have anything for him in his hometown,” Warnock told The Associated Press. Warnock added that the project has the approval of Jimmie Vaughan.

Last April, the City Council approved spending $74,000 for a piece of public art in Kiest Park, but had not decided what the artwork would be. That’s when Warnock entered the picture and began the paperwork to justify his request.

He noted in his proposal that a nearby middle school gives out a scholarship established by the brothers’ mother. He also notes the brothers proudly proclaimed their Dallas roots in media interviews and recorded a song titled “DFW” to honor their hometown.

To make the project a reality though, Warnock needs to raise $68,000 more. The Park Board will vote Thursday on an agreement allowing a local foundation to donate funds to augment the existing project.

There isn’t a design yet for Warnock’s project. Once the Park Board signs off, Kallos said the city will put out the call for proposals.

Photo: Scott Legato / RockStarProPhotography.com
Callahan's Music Hall, Auburn Hills, Mich.

“This is not for the faint of heart,” Warnock said of the process. “If you’re looking for a quick fix, this is not the way to go. But I wanted to make this real. And if it’s in a city park, it’s real. You know it’s really going to happen. Doing it with the city puts the official stamp of approval on it.”

Stevie Ray Vaughan and his band Double Trouble produced the platinum album Couldn’t Stand the Weather in 1984. He won a Grammy Award that year for best traditional blues recording for the song “Blues Explosion.”