By Rose Luna

Killeen Daily Herald

With the help of the Public Arts League of Salado, five artists from Texas Carved Stone are vigorously sculpting five blocks of limestone in Salado that will be judged on Sunday.

"We're working fast and furious to complete everything by Sunday," said Mary Condon, co-owner of Texas Carved Stone. "We normally do high-end residential, but it's something special when we get to come out and do pieces of art for Salado."

The artists will complete their work on Sunday for display in areas throughout Salado.

"It's great for Salado to put on this kind of exhibition," said Troy Kelley, president of PALS. "Not many people understand the process of stone sculpting."

Exclusively using limestone from Texas, the business brought enormous blocks of limestone from A.J. Brauer quarries in Jarrell.

All artists are creating sculptures with a nature theme, such as Angel Guzman, who is creating an arrowhead from his block of limestone, and John Lawhon, who is sculpting "turtles on a wall." Rebecca Cantos-Bush is shaping an "owl with fish" from her piece of limestone.

Jeremy Johnson, a native of Central Texas, will be shaping a block into a longhorn, using a skull from the animal as his model.

"I wanted to represent something Southwestern," Johnson said.

Though he's not competing, Bob Ragan said it's a thrill to use his craft to create art for Salado.

"It's a kick. I think a lot of people like to see us do this," said Ragan, co-owner of Texas Carved Stone. "We have three days to complete this, but it's really like four and a half days after putting in 10 to 12 hours."

The first-place prize is $2,500, while the runner-up will receive $1,500. For third place, the artist will receive $750. The artists are set up next to the Salado Civic Center, where the annual Christmas in October festival is being held today.

"It's a good purpose," Condon said. "The artists get to compete for a prize, and the city gets five great pieces of art."

For more information on Texas Carved Stone, call (254) 793-2384 or visit

Contact Rose Luna at

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