If you appreciate native Texas wildlife then it is worth a trip to the Northeast corner of the campus of the University of North Texas in Denton. There, quietly sitting in the warmth of the sun around the Environmental Education Science and Technology (EESAT) building you can find everything from armadillos, jackrabbits and roadrunners to horned toads and rattlesnakes. The animals are part of a collection of life size bronze sculptures by local artist David Iles. This collection is one of three commissioned by Trammel Crow which he donated to the university.
The sculptures make up the Crow Creek Collection of Native Texas Animals and are used as teaching tools for the Elm Fork Education Center. The center is the public education branch of the Environmental Institute of Applied Sciences located in the EESAT at UNT.
The final installment of the collection, representing the human species of native Texas “animals”, is a life-size bronze sculpture of the beloved UNT biology professor Dr. J.K.G. Silvey, fondly remembered as “Doc Silvey.”
Artist David Iles (left) and assistant Vincent Villarfanca install the bronze sculpture of “Doc Silvey.”
During his forty-two years at what was then North Texas State University, Dr. Silvey had a lasting impact on the lives and careers of countless students. To recognize his kindness, wise counsel and outstanding contribution to their lives, former students and colleagues established the J.K.G. Silvey Society in 1965.
Among his achievements:
• Served as Chair for the Department of Biological Sciences from 1952-1973
• Established a nationally and internationally recognized water research program
• Founded the Center for Environmental Studies in 1970
• Founded the Institute of Applied Sciences in 1973
• Played a key role in the creation of the UNT Health Science Center at Fort Worth
A dedication ceremony in honor of Dr. Silvey will take place this Friday April 25 at 4:00 p.m. in front of the Environmental Education and Science Technology building in Denton. The ceremony will include an unveiling of the Doc Silvey sculpture and a fish fry tribute in his honor. Silvey was know for the fish fries he provided to students conducting research in the field.
In conjunction with the April 25th dedication of the Silvey sculpture, the Elm Fork Education Center’s Eagle Exhibit Hall will host Mischievous by Nature, a small exhibition of recent works by David Iles.