A Flower Mound resident and artist is creating animal sculptures for Heritage Park.
Sweety Bowman of Yarmoth Studio is working on three life-size bronze sculptures of a coyote, armadillo and bobcat for Heritage Park’s future nature encounter trail, where visitors can follow the animals’ footprints to find them.
Nine other life-size sculptures of animals native to North Texas — from the Randolph Rose collection — will also be installed: a fox, buffalo, horse, whitetail deer, blue heron, beaver, wild turkey, opossum and Eastern Cottontail rabbit. The sculptures are intended to be child-safe, vandalism-resistant, long-lasting and weather-proof.
The town hopes to have the sculptures, interpretive signage and walking trail with animal tracks open to the public this fall.
The bronze sculptures are part of Heritage Park Phase 4, a $1.5 million project that also includes a trellis shade structure; five wildflower-mix seeding stations, which will bloom at different times; a nature observation platform; a sundial entry circle with an entry sign; and an 18-basket Disc Golf Course with a map, trash receptacles and benches, as well as three culvert crossings and a low-water crossing along the trail. The town set $125,000 aside for the 12 sculptures.
Bowman and her daughter Ariel, who is also a sculptor, have been working on the sculptures throughout the spring, with a goal of completion in mid-August.
The sculpting process is a time-consuming, complicated one. Bowman started by studying pictures of the animals and live animals, sketching them and making small models, called maquettes, according to the Flower Mound Parks and Recreation Department.
Once the poses are determined, a metal armature is covered in clay. Next, molds are made of rubber and plaster and then a wax model is encased with a ceramic shell for casting.
The pieces are currently being cast in bronze by Bowman’s production foundry in Arlington.
Bowman said she likes to experiment and explore with her art, and these sculptures have been “a good challenge for me.”