The Ultimate Sacrifice: Artist Dream Comes True

Thanks to a local artist, the Arlington Police Department has a star to call its own.

The star, which has been titled “An Ultimate Sacrifice,” was installed last week on the front lawn of the Ott Cribbs Public Safety Building in downtown Arlington.

It is one of twenty that make up the Star of Texas Project being led by the Arlington Museum of Art.

Artist Justin Simmons, whose painting captured the excitement of baseball on the Texas Rangers star, said he had some hesitation when presented with an opportunity to commission a painting for police officers.

“With everything that was going on in our nation involving officer shootings and the deadly ambush on Dallas officers made developing a concept kind of difficult,” he said.

“I decided to paint what I felt in my heart,” he said. “Police officers put on the uniform and badge and work every day to defend and protect people they don’t even know. That is the ultimate sacrifice.”

After about 30 days, he completed the painting that features the police badge, patch, and officer pledge. The star also includes a scripture and the words, “To Protect and Serve.”

The Star of Texas project is a public art initiative developed in conjunction with the City of Arlington’s American Dream City brand. The project also receives support from the Arlington Tomorrow Foundation and Women Inspiring Philanthropy. The Arlington Police Foundation contributed $2,500 to the project.

“The goal of the project is to promote art,” said Chris Hightower, director of the Arlington Museum of Art. “We want everyone to view and interact with all of our stars and experience a true appreciation for what makes our city a great place to achieve dreams.”

Each star has been painted by an artist born or living in Texas. Simmons was born in Oklahoma but moved to Texas to pursue his dream as an artist.

Simmons says he is inspired by the late Ernie Barnes Jr. an African-American painter well known for his unique style of elongation, movement and capturing the beauty of the ghetto. Simmons was first introduced to his paintings as a teen watching television episodes of Good Times.

Police Chief Will Johnson met the artist this week and presented him with a Chief’s Coin for his inspiration and creativity.

Watch the video: An Ultimate Sacrifice


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