If all goes to plan, Dixon’s bronze sculpture of Powell will be formally unveiled September 5 in the Buffalo Soldier Memorial Park “Circle of Firsts” in Fort Leavenworth Kansas. Powell was the first African-American to serve as the Chairman of the Joints Chiefs, and he was also a driving force behind the creation of Fort Leavenworth’s Buffalo Soldier Monument.
“I was honored that they asked me to do it, and they had confidence in me,” Dixon said. An historical committee commissioned Dixon.
“They chose me because I had done some military pieces,” Dixon said. Dixon also said he spoke to Powell as the bust took shape; “He thought it was very good. He liked it.”
Perhaps more importantly, Powell’s wife liked it.
“His wife was critiquing it - asking for changes,” Dixon said. “She was pleased with it. And so he was pleased with it.”
Dixon is also creating a memorial bronze sculpture of Timothy Cole which will be unveiled in mid-September at 19th Street and Univeristy Avenue. Cole was wrongfully imprisoned for a rape he did not commit and major reforms to Texas law have been made in Cole’s name.
Locally, Dixon is also known for his bronze sculpture of Willie McCool - an astronaut who lost his life in the 2003 shuttle Columbia.
Nationally, his works include a 17-foot-tall memorial to the Buffalo Soldier already on display in Fort Leavenworth. Does he have a favorite piece?
“Whenever I’m doing anything, they’re all proud pieces,” Dixon said. “You put everything you have into them. You’re proud of everything you do. You do the best you can do on everything.”
Dixon said the Department of Defense has requested a change to Powell’s name plate in his bronze sculpture. But the photograph with this story (courtesy of Todd Klein) is pretty much what the finished product will look like.