Sculptor Shirley Scarpetta Begins Work on Kenneth Walden Memorial Statue in Tomball

Just over two months since his memorial service, significant progress has been made on the statue depicting longtime volunteer station agent Kenneth Walden.

Walden, a train enthusiast and Tomball resident, volunteered at the Tomball Historic Depot Plaza for nearly 15 years before his death May 3. At its May 18 meeting, Tomball City Council voted to approve the construction of a statue commemorating Walden after many residents commented during a public hearing in favor of the project.

The statue is being constructed by Cypress-based sculptor Shirley Scarpetta, who met Walden during her time as director of the DaVinci Artists Gallery in Old Town Tomball.

“It’s an awesome process. Especially [to make a statue depicting] a gentleman that was so loved by so many,” Scarpetta said. “I knew him personally as well, so this is a really great project.”

The life-sized statue will first be molded then cast in wax and a shell coating before it is covered in bronze to achieve the final product, Scarpetta said. The process is expected to be completed in the next few months and will be installed at the depot sometime in late 2015, she said.

“Normally, sculptures like this take three to four months. [But once the statue was approved], I went right to work,” she said. “I work really fast, so this was not an average time.”

When completed, the statue will lean against the rail at the depot, overlooking the site of the future Texas Railroading Heritage Museum.

The statue is expected to cost an estimated $30,000 and has been underwritten by the Tomball Legacy Trust, a fund incorporated into the city budget for special projects, Tomball Marketing Director Mike Baxter said. The city is also accepting donations to offset the cost.

Those wishing to contribute money to cover the cost of the statue can donate to the Ken Walden Go Fund Me Page. To date, more than $2,500 has been raised for the statue, and the city has collected $13,000 in additional contributions, Baxter said. Donations can also be made in-person at City Hall.

This article was written by Wendy Cawthon of Community Times and is published by their generous permission.

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