THE BIGGEST D

As a child, Jon Minyard used to climb on the roof of his parents’ house to gaze out at the twinkling lights of downtown Dallas. Being a “born artist,” he says he was always fascinated by the symmetrical shapes that the skyline made. But he was also always a bit disappointed by what he saw. Amid all the glitter and symmetry, he could never find the famous “Big D.”

Now, at 32, he realizes that there is no Big D hidden among the buildings of the Dallas skyline, but he’s still fascinated by the idea. So fascinated, in fact, that he recently borrowed his next-door neighbor’s tractor and created a 100-foot-by-60-foot D in his back yard.

He calls the piece, which took him two days to complete, an earthwork. He says he envisioned the work, drew plans for it on a grid and started plowing. He wants to plant rye grass on the D so its color will be different from the surrounding grass. During the winter months, he says it stands out because of its deep earthy color.

Minyard decided to study art after taking a crack at his family’s grocery business. He received a master’s degree in fine arts at SMU and has been active in the Children’s Arts and Ideas Foundation. He says the “Big D” work is a nice break from his tedious and admittedly more serious bronze artwork.

Designing the D was “great fun,” says Minyard. He has another “D” project in the works -he plans to create a 5-foot-l1-inch bronze D. He calls it his “self-portrait” since it will be his height and will be a personal reflection of himself. Someday, he says, he hopes to build a seven-story “Big D” in the Trinity River bottom as a sort of city trademark to welcome visitors.

And we thought Hollywood had all the glitz.

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