Public Art at Kiest Park pays tribute to musical legacy of Oak Cliff’s famous sibling musicians

City of Dallas Office of Arts and Culture

The public art at Kiest Park pays tribute to the musical contributions of Dallas natives and revered blues guitarists Jimmie and Stevie Ray Vaughan. The artwork We Are Music & Music is Us honors the brothers as significant influencers in the music industry and in the history and culture of Dallas.

Installed in March 2020, the City of Dallas Office of Arts and Culture and the Park and Recreation Department will officially dedicate the public art installation at 4 p.m. Sunday, October 3 at Kiest Park, 3080 S. Hampton Road.

Jimmie Vaughan and Kirby Warnock will make remarks during a brief presentation and recognize the many donors who supported this work. Warnock, a documentary film writer, producer and director, spearheaded fundraising activities for the art piece.

Basque artist Casto Solano created the art to pay tribute the Vaughan brothers talents as significant innovators on the vanguard of blue’s music in the 1970s. We Are Music & Music is Us “links the material world with the ephemeral ecstasy of music,” according to Solano. “The sculpture creates a place of belonging on which to forge our images together with theirs. A piece that will stand as a homage to two remarkable men,” he added.

Office of Arts and Culture Director Jennifer Scripps stated, “We are so pleased to see this artwork that pays tribute to the contributions and accomplishments of the Vaughan Brothers in Kiest Park near where they grew up.  It is the first public art to celebrate Dallas musicians.”

The sculpture is constructed from four COR-TEN or weathering steel-framed screens, formed by ribbons of cut metal. Panels measuring 10’ x 8’ each show imagery of the brothers’ lives and music including the lyrics to their most well-known work Tick-Tock. It stands near the trail crosswalk off the park’s main entrance.

“City of Dallas parks feature many diverse public artworks. Parks connect us to outdoor spaces and public art bridges that connection. Art tells stories, starts conversations, and encourages visitors to appreciate diverse visual art forms,” said John D. Jenkins, Director, Dallas Park and Recreation.

 ““This is a wonderful recognition to these gifted brothers who grew up in Oak Cliff and transformed music worldwide. We are excited to spotlight this harmonious and energetic tribute to the Vaughan brothers in our park system,” Jenkins added. 

Jimmie and Stevie Ray Vaughan were born and grew up in Oak Cliff near where the sculpture stands. They started playing guitar as children, and by their mid-teens, they were professional musicians. Relocating to Austin in the 1970s, they formed individual bands that influenced the blues revival of the 1980s. Stevie Ray Vaughan died in 1990.

“I’m glad to see Dallas finally claim its rich musical heritage with the tribute to the Vaughan Brothers, and I hope it will continue by honoring its other artists,” said Kirby Warnock

Warnock, widely known for his documentary When Dallas Rocked, established The Vaughan Brothers Art Project to raise money to build and maintain the artwork. Individuals and foundation donations totaling $60,000 were received for the project with major donors including The Cabaniss Family Foundation, Jeffrey Stephen Davis, John and Lisa Dennis, The Kessler Theater, The North Texas Music Foundation, The Oak Cliff Foundation and Kirby Warnock.

In conjunction with the artwork dedication, KERA TV (Channel 13) is re-broadcasting When Dallas Rocked on the following nights and times:

  • Friday, October 1 at 9:30p
  • Sunday, October 3 at 5:00p
  • Late night Sunday, October 3 at 1:00 am (technically, early Monday, October 4)
  • Late night Saturday, October 9 at 1:00 am (technically, early Sunday, October 10)

CDC Safety Protocols will be followed at the dedication.