Local Artist Honors Veterans
Veterans Day is just around the corner on Nov. 11 and is a special day set aside to remember the men and women of the nation’s armed forces. Houston-based artist and sculptor, Lori Betz of Betz Art Foundry, was chosen to do exactly that in a very special way. She was commissioned to create five sculptures for the Veterans Memorial Park in Tampa, Fla., two of which have already been completed and installed.
Veterans Memorial Park is separated into different areas, all of which exhibit different messages of appreciation and serve as tribute to national heroes. The first sculpture, created for the park’s Iraqi Veterans Memorial area, is centered around the theme of “All gave some. Some gave all.”
“I am so honored and proud to be a part of this project. It’s a privilege to show our military personnel and their families how much we appreciate their sacrifices,” Betz says.
For the piece, Betz created a 6-foot-tall battle cross. The sculpture exhibits an artist’s depiction of the cross made upon the battlefield when a soldier dies in action. It is made of a soldier’s boots, gun, helmet and dog tags. The dog tags hanging from the battle cross bear the name of the first fallen soldier in the Iraqi campaign while the other side has the name of the last soldier to fall in the campaign. This monumental sculpture is set upon a 7-foot-tall cement plinth that has three large bronze reliefs attached to its sides.
The next sculpture commissioned for the Veterans Memorial Park is for the park’s Committed Forces area.
“For this piece, the theme I came up with is entitled, ‘Our Troops Protecting Freedom Around The World.’ It will feature a 5-foot bronze globe of the world set upon a tall cement plinth that will have four figurines around the base. Each figurative sculpture will represent a different branch of the armed forces,” Betz describes of the next phase in production.
Betz has also designed miniature versions of the larger sculptures that have been installed. She has donated them to help raise money for the park and for other veterans’ charities. She recently donated one of these maquettes to Helping a Hero, which earned thousands of dollars for the piece during a silent benefit auction. All of the proceeds will be used to build new homes for returning heroes.
Betz creates all of her sculptures in her studio and bronze art foundry in the heart of the Downtown Arts District in Houston. Besides creating monumental commemorative sculptures, the Betz Art Foundry team of artists also creates custom architectural works and fountains for some of the most prestigious homes in Texas.
For more information about Lori Betz, view the Betz Art Foundry website.