Barvo Walker’s Oak Cliff studio is full of paintings and sculptures he’s created all over the world, from China to Egypt, and Austin to Dallas. About two months ago, the seniors at Highland Park High School dreamt up the perfect partnership.
“They’ve been a delight to work with,” said the Fort Worth native who gave up dentistry for sculpture 20 years ago.
The senior class officers wanted something different from the traditional podiums and stained glass windows usually left behind.
“We were kind of in a real bind because we were supposed to come up with a class gift and didn’t have any ideas,” said Lait Fitzpatrick, who served as vice president. “I suggested, sort of as a joke, something like the Ronald McDonald statue. I thought it’d be funny to do a Scot people could sit next to.”
Fitzpatrick, who will attend the University of Texas in the fall, said the final concept was a group effort their class sponsor, Linda Raya, approved. A classmate’s mother then got in contact with Walker.
“What was unique about these young people is that they knew exactly what they wanted,” Walker said.
Walker first sketched a Scotsman standing in full Highlander garb, but the students amended the plans so that the Scot is seated on a bench, ready to take photos with passersby. Instead of the tall, feathered headpiece, the Scot will wear a much simpler tam o’shanter. The statue will be installed in the gym by the ticket office.
“It’s a really unique gift,” said Haley McCollum, who served as president and will attend the University of Oklahoma. “It’ll be there forever.”
As for the statue’s progress, the clay segments are sitting in a climate-controlled atmosphere at Walker’s studio in North Oak Cliff. The clay version will then be used to form a rubber mold, which is then set in “cold-cast bronze,” a material best used for indoor pieces.
Walker estimates the sculpture will be unveiled in August, hopefully before the class of 2013 leaves for college.
“He was the nicest guy and really funny,” Fitzpatrick said of Walker. “And [he] made it sound like it was possible, which was really cool.”