On Sunday, October 24, the City of Southlake hosted a public art dedication and celebration for Seth Vandable’s “Bob and Almeady Jones” statue at Bob Jones Park.
It was a beautiful Sunday afternoon at the park. Descendants from the Jones family, City Council members, Arts Council members, and Southlake Historical Society members gathered to unveil Southlake’s latest public art piece. Southlake Mayor, John Huffman opened the ceremony, followed by remarks by Arts Council Chairperson Tamara McMillan and Historical Society Historian Anita Robeson. The ceremony concluded with some words from Bob Jones’ grandson, Dr. William Jones.
“Art, in all of its forms, is so vital to a City and a community. Southlake has shown a steadfast commitment to the arts in recent years as we have unveiled public art pieces in the City’s roundabouts, parks, and facilities. Today’s celebration is another example of the City Council’s commitment to ensuring that art tells the story of our past, present, and future,” stated Mayor Huffman.
The Bob and Almeady Jones Statue is a memorial to the monumental role the Jones family played in Southlake’s development.
“Bob was a brilliant horse and cattleman. An excellent businessman, whose word and a handshake was his bind… He eventually acquired and operated over 2,000 acres in what is now Southlake. It’s a wonderful tribute that part of that original property is preserved in the Bob Jones Park and Nature Center. I am the youngest of the last of Bob and Almeady’s 24 grandchildren. No Jones descendant carries on the ranching tradition or lives in the area at present. But new generations of Jones descendants have the opportunity to visit the property and remember our past with pride…. The statue is a marvelous addition to Bob Jones Park, and will serve as a positive pictorial reminder of their legacy to all who visit for years to come,” stated Dr. Williams Jones.
After the ceremony, Jones family members unveiled the new statue together. The interactive art piece depicts Bob and Almeady Jones enjoying a freshly harvested summer meal after a hard day’s work of farming and teaching their 10 children. They are dressed in period attire and are seated on a stone bench and table, welcoming visitors to sit with them and enjoy a community meal together.
When describing the statue, Southlake Arts Council Chair, Tamara McMillan, stated that, “The portraits are welcoming likenesses, while still reflecting a measure of determination required to meet the challenges they face and burdens they carry. The sculpture is designed in the round, highlighting possible fruits and foods they would have harvested in the area, making it interesting from every angle.”
This public art dedication was unlike any other the City has hosted. After the unveiling, guests enjoyed a community meal at the Bob Jones Park Fishing Pavilion. A fiddler played as Jones family members from across the country ate together in celebration of their family’s legacy.
The Bob and Almeady Jones statue is located in Bob Jones Park in front of the playground. Community members can visit and take pictures with the beautiful interactive piece. Thank you to the Southlake Arts Council and Southlake Historical Society for helping make this addition to our Public Art collection a reality.
To learn more about Bob Jones and his family, visit the Bob Jones Exhibit at the Bob Jones Nature Center.