Texas Christian University created a college football arena like no other when it renovated its Amon G. Carter Stadium last year. When the new stadium was unveiled in September 2012, the work of an Oak Cliff artist, Dan Brook, honored the donors who made the $164 million project happen. Brook, an Oklahoma native who played football for Baylor University, created eleven larger-than-life bronze statues of the benefactors. He also made and installed six 22-foot-tall reliefs representing the Texas industries that made their wealth possible. “It grew into the largest art project in the Southwest, and it was the largest art installation of any stadium,” Brook says. Brook, who moved to Oak Cliff about four years ago and has a studio near the Belmont Hotel, was a psych major at Baylor. Upon graduation, he went into real estate. “I made good money, but I didn’t enjoy it,” he says. He saw a sculptor working at an art fair, and that guy, Barvo Walker, became his teacher and mentor in a new career. “I’m just fascinated with people. I’ve always observed people, and I think that’s why I’m so drawn to portraiture,” Brook says. “People’s faces are a terrain.” Some of his subjects for the TCU project were already dead, so he created their statues based on photos and any biographical information he could find. He met and spent time with all the others. “It’s about trying to sculpt what’s inside the person,” he says. “That’s when you really start to get good.” Brook currently is working on a statue of Heisman Trophy winner Robert Griffin III for Baylor as well as a 14-foot fountain for a client in Kurdistan. “I was part of the rank and file of the discontent,” he says. “Now I’ve found what I was created to do.”
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