DALLAS (CBS11) – At 85, Sculptor Barvo Walker has a lot of projects he’s working on in his Oak Cliff studio.
Soon, he’ll start making the sculpture honoring the five officers killed during the July 7 ambush in downtown Dallas.
“The police should be honored and I’m honored that they selected me to do this,” said Walker.
Once completed, the bronze and Texas limestone sculpture will stand 12 feet tall and nine feet wide near the flagpoles outside Dallas Police Headquarters.
The sculpture will be unveiled July 7th of next year, the second anniversary of the shootings.
It will feature a relief of the city skyline, the badges of the Dallas and DART Police Departments, and the faces of the officers who made the ultimate sacrifice for their community.
Dallas Police Officers Lorne Ahrens, Michael Krol, Patrick Zamarripa, and Michael Smith, along with DART Police Officer Brent Thompson lost their lives that night.
Walker says, “All Americans should appreciate the police more.”
He provided several different sketches of a sculpture for the police department to choose from before the assistant chiefs made the final selection.
On Wednesday, the Dallas City Council unanimously approved the plans.
“I’m glad we’ve come up with something the police department approved of. They’re very enthusiastic about it. Now the city has approved it, so I’m most pleased,” said Walker.
After the ambush, he says it didn’t take long for his phone to ring. “I got a call right after these men were killed from someone who said I think the money can be raised if you’ll design something.”
A group of people who wish to remain anonymous, have raised $400,000 to pay for the sculpture and $40,000 to maintain it.
“It reflects on the community that they appreciate the police, they’re grateful,” said Walker.
He graduated from the Baylor College of Dentistry in 1960 and was a practicing dentist.
But Walker says he always had a passion for art, and so in 1980, he says he became a professional sculptor.
These days, he’s working on a sculpture for a charity helping homeless and neglected children and their mothers, along with a 20 foot sculpture weighing 5,000 pounds for the Granville Arts Center in Garland called the Vision of the Arts.
Aside from these projects, Walker says he’s worked in China, Egypt, and Europe.
When the State Capitol was redone in 1984, he was the artist involved with the statue on top of the building, the Goddess of Liberty.
“I feel like God gave me this talent and I’d be neglectful if I didn’t use it.”