Thursday, February 9, 2023

Flower Mound mayor responds to art critics

Mehrdad Moayedi, Emil Cerullo, Ron Stewart, Mayor Tom Hayden, Annette Weir and Ron Miller pose next to the sculpture that has been criticized by some community members.
Mehrdad Moayedi, Emil Cerullo, Ron Stewart, Mayor Tom Hayden, Annette Weir and Ron Miller pose next to the sculpture that has been criticized by some community members.

Flower Mound Mayor Tom Hayden on Wednesday afternoon assembled a group near one of the artist sculptures located at the River Walk site. The reason for the meeting was to discuss the aesthetic value of the piece (background) as it relates to the overall development of the 158-acre mixed-use development that integrates commercial, office, retail, dining, medical, civic and residential uses in a variety of building types.

The River Walk is located north of FM 1171, west of Morriss Road and east of FM 2499. Comments on social media from area residents have indicated a displeasure with the rendition by referring to it as “Pacman, Godzilla, Tree Chomper,” etc. In addition to the mayor, the assemblage included Mehrdad Moayedi, President and CEO of Centurion American (CA), Emil Cerullo of the Gallery at the Fairmont, Ron Stewart, Landscape Architect at EG Environs Group, Dave Kizer, General Manager of CA Construction, Jack Dawson, Executive Vice-President of CA, and Ron Miller and Annette Weir of the Flower Mound Cultural Arts Commission.

The discussion, led by the mayor, focused on how that particular sculpture was chosen, inasmuch as the Planning and Zoning Commission and the Town Council had viewed a different style of possible sculptures during the original design stages that led to the ultimate approval of the development by council. Although the CA development team was not required to have each artistic creation passed by the town leaders, Hayden wanted to know how the multi-toothed configuration fits into the vision of the River Walk. Mr. Moayedi said the elaborate landscaping planned for the perimeter of the sculpture would make it a lot more suitable because the flowers and shrubs would accentuate the structure. However, he was considerate enough to say he would replace the sculpture (at substantial expense to him) if the town council still felt it was inappropriate.

Emil Cerullo made a few observations. “With respect to the current sculptures that have been installed early in the process I am happy to see the inspired discussions on Facebook and social media. Several comments have given me even more confidence that we have hit the mark with several of our artists, sculptures and theme. Furthermore as co-curator of the art on the River Walk I can also say the thought was to integrate various flowers that were native to Flower Mound and Texas into the art. The use of many bright colors and twisted and pointed metal to interpret this subject matter was challenging but it provided a great opportunity to make it unique and different much like the project itself. Future pieces will continue to reflect the same theme while taking into account energy and influence from the local environment. As co-curator I can say we remain committed to providing a product that resonates with the community and gives Flower Mound a unique and different destination that separates it from just any town in Texas, with its art being a significant part among other things with this great amenity.”

One of the suggestions by the mayor was to have all future art pieces viewed beforehand by board members of the Flower Mound Cultural Arts Commission. That seems like a reasonable proposal, inasmuch as they have been selected by the council to recommend and approve a variety of artistic endeavors relating to our community. The hour-long meeting, held in the blazing sun and 95-degree heat, resulted in an agreement to finish the landscaping and have it evaluated by the Cultural Arts Commission. Mr. Moayedi, and his staff of architects and artists, couldn’t have been more accommodating in their attempt to find a solution that would be amenable to everyone. Incidentally, during the meeting it was pointed out that 2500 trees would be planted inside and along the perimeter of the project.

Centurion American has a stellar reputation for quality developments throughout North Texas for the past 25 years. From Dallas to Southlake to Fort Worth and all areas in between, CA has constructed some of the finest hotels, towers and ranches in numerous towns and cities. As a premier developer in Dallas, Mr. Moayedi has become an icon in the real estate development industry, not only for the quality of his work, but because he has a reputation for keeping his word and doing exactly what he promised to do. As I’ve written before, one of the best decisions made by this FM Council was to assign CA to develop the massive River Walk at Central Park. Like many others in Flower Mound and its environs I’m eagerly anticipating the completion of what surely will become one of the most appealing tourist attractions in the area, if not in the entire state.

Bob Weir is a long-time Flower Mound resident and former local newspaper editor.

Bob Weir
Bob Weir
Bob Weir is a former NYPD officer, long-time Flower Mound resident and former local newspaper editor.

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