Colorado carvers chip away doubts, pursue Tomb job
Post Independent Staff
MARBLE – A Marble sculptor’s dream of carving the Tomb of the Unknowns is gaining momentum in attracting the interest of experienced sculptors and funders who want to get involved
Davidmark Trujillo has assembled 10 Colorado sculptors who will gather at the Redstone Inn on Wednesday evening, Feb. 12, for the Colorado Sculptors’ Meeting to discuss carving the replacement marble slab for the Tomb of the Unknowns memorial at Arlington National Cemetery.
“You’ve heard of the Knights of the Roundtable,” he said with a smile. “This is the Sculptors of the Roundtable.”
Trujillo, a Carbondale-based sculptor, is passionate about Colorado sculptors carving the replacement stone for the Tomb of the Unknowns.
“The stone is coming from Colorado, and so should the sculptors,” said Trujillo, 46, owner of Aspen World Class Stone.
The original block of marble – which is cracked and needs to be replaced – came from the Yule Marble Quarry above Marble, more than 70 years ago. Quarry workers in Marble are hoping they’ll locate the replacement stone by spring.
The first Colorado-based stone used for the memorial was carved in the east. But Trujillo thinks the replacement stone should be sculpted in Colorado.
Initially, Yule Marble Quarry owner Rex Loesby, didn’t know if Trujillo and his fellow sculptors would be able to meet the strict qualifications required of artists whose work appears at federal monuments like Arlington.
“I’m not sure he could meet the performance criteria of the Veteran’s Administration,” Loesby said in January. “I’m not ruling it out, but he has to have proven experience in doing similar kinds of things.”
That may still be a concern, but Loesby is enthused about the sculptors Trujillo has organized for the upcoming meeting.
“Davidmark is doing wonderful work,” Loesby said. “He’s gathered together some major kahunas.”
Expected at the Redstone Inn meeting are noted Colorado sculptors Gerald Balciar, Eddie Free Bear, Kathy Caricos, Steve Kentz, Roger Seal, Greg Tonozzi, Trujillo, Richard Wagoner and Madeline Wiener. Loesby has also brought in Janush Obst, a Polish sculptor now living in Glenwood Springs.
“What we’ll do at this meeting is line out the man hours and all the costs for the project, plus look at what we have and what we need in terms of fund-raising and contributions,” said Loesby. “Then, we can go to Arlington with not only the stone, but the finished product.”
New Castle-based sculptor Greg Tonozzi, who will be part of the Redstone Inn meeting, agrees that Trujillo’s efforts to keep the tomb’s carving in Colorado is valiant.
“Davidmark is a great organizer,” Tonozzi said. Still, Tonozzi has some “intelligent reservations” about the project.
“There’s no forgiveness in working with a cube of marble with multiple right angles and sides like the Unknowns Tomb,” Tonozzi said.
That said, Tonozzi is looking forward to meeting with Trujillo’s group of sculptors.
“It’s a fantastic challenge. I’m trying to come up with a lot of good questions for the meeting, questions that will need to be thought out.”
Contact Carrie Click: 945-8515, ext. 518
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