Houston artist David Adix behind a massive bust of JFK outside the IAH

David Adix, a Houston-based artist best known for his giant sculptures throughout the city, such as the iconic “Rush Hour Mountain” featuring U.S. presidents and the Instagram-friendly “We Love Houston” sign, has created a new work that smacks a tribute to one of our nation’s most beloved presidents. The 95-year-old sculptor recently created a 5-ton bust of the late President John F. Kennedy, soon to be named next to the George W. Bush Intercontinental Airport.

A hollow statue of the nation’s 35th president, located at 14550 John F. Kennedy Boulevard in East Aldean, will serve as a “welcome rug” for travelers arriving in the area. Carlos Silva, chairman of the Aldine East Administrative District and its East Aldine Arts Coalition, which funded the artwork, shared footage Tuesday of cranes lifting parts of the statue into place.

“Bringing public art to East Aldean has been a passion of mine over the past few years and today has been a real blessing,” Silva wrote in a Facebook post Tuesday that included photos alongside Adix in front of the statue. “It took two years to a month from the time I met Mr. David Adix to we finally erecting a monumental statue of JFK in honor of JFK in our area…it started! This is for the people of East Aldin and for our great city of Houston!!!!”

The site is still under construction as the statue’s head and shoulders, which are separate, still need to be welded together and covered in plaster in addition to some other finishing touches. “But the presence of the bust at the base definitely draws attention (no pun intended),” Silva joked in an email on Wednesday. The painting will also feature excerpts from Kennedy’s famous 1962 speech at Rice University, in which he announced NASA’s mission to land a man on the moon. “We decided to go to the moon this decade and do other things, not because it’s easy, but because it’s difficult,” Kennedy told a crowd of 30,000.

According to Silva, the ambitious project was developed for two years. “Mr. Adix had already filmed JFK as part of his presidential series, but that was the only JFK he had and was just sitting in his studio,” he wrote. “And I had the idea to put JFK on JFK. He immediately liked the idea, and that’s how it all started.” Once it is completed, the Aldine area will host a ceremony for the official installation of the statue, which Silva predicts will take place in mid-February.

Adix’s other works of art include his famous outdoor sculpture of a huge cello in downtown Houston and the 67-foot-tall statue of Sam Houston on Interstate 45 near Huntsville. Last year, the city of Houston honored Adix for his contribution to the artistic life of the city of Bayou.

“In his 95 years of illustrious life, David Adix exhibitions have graced countless galleries and museums around the world, starting with the DuBose Gallery in Houston,” Mayor Sylvester Turner wrote on Facebook in April 2022. for his invaluable contribution to the cultural art of this city.”

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