Los Caballos public art commission celebrates its first year! Last October, Fort Worth Texas unveiled the spectacular new Dickies Arena. This multipurpose state-of-the-art venue is designed to host concerts, sports, community events and even Stock Show rodeos.
Crowning the south façade is a 12-foot-tall by 63-foot-wide William Matthews mural. Titled “Los Caballos,” the mural commemorates the horse, an enduring symbol of the American West first brought to this continent by the Spanish, and whose introduction to North America transformed the Great Plains and the West for both Native Americans and American pioneers. Set against an untamed landscape, the Dickies mural captures the dynamic movement of wild horses, racing among scrub and brush, set against rolling hills and mesas, under a storm-filled sky.
Matthews’ work was fabricated in the celebrated female-owned studio Mosaicos Venecianos in Cuernavaca, Mexico, where artisans pieced together more than 600,000 hand-cut glass tiles of 570 different colors to render this powerful scene with remarkable richness and vibrancy.
Flanking Matthews’s mural are two bas-relief sculptures, further celebrating the significance of the horse in the history of the American West. The two 12-foot-tall works, cast in bronze, were conceived from Matthews’s original composition drawings and sculpted by Texas-based artist Buckeye Blake, himself a member of the Cherokee Nation. On the left is a depiction of an early day cowboy of the American West, skilled and confident. On the opposite side is a Comanche, considered the “Lord of the Plains” and master of the horse culture, brave, and graceful. Both figures, seated on horseback, serve as welcoming ambassadors to all visitors.