Virginia Tech and Roanoke Valley Hokie Club Unveil Plans for a HokieBird Statue
Area artist commissioned for 10-foot bronze cast likeness of mascot
October 18, 2002

BLACKSBURG, Va. - The Virginia Tech Athletics Department, the Virginia Tech Athletic Fund, and the Roanoke Valley Hokie Club unveiled on Friday afternoon a plan to commission a Southwest Virginia artist to sculpt a traditional bronze cast statue of the official school mascot - the HokieBird.

JRD ART of Roanoke, through its sculptor Judith Damon, will capture and cast in bronze a 10-foot tall likeness of the HokieBird. A lost wax bronze sculpting process will begin this fall with Damon constructing a 30-inch quarter-scale clay model of the mascot. Once officials approve of the representation, Damon will begin work on building an armature or framework to support a full-size clay model. JRD ART will house the model during its development in the Towers Shopping Mall. Fans and interested parties are invited to follow the progress of the statue as it takes shape.

The full-size clay model will lend itself to a mold that will provide for a wax impression. The wax impression is then dipped into liquid minerals forming a ceramic shell, whereby the wax is "lost" in the process and allows for the ceramic shell to be filled later with molten bronze to create the statue.

The 10-foot HokieBird sculpture will be completed in the spring of 2003. The HokieBird statue will reside in Cassell Coliseum before finding its final home in the future memorabilia area to be constructed as part of Lane Stadium's West Side expansion project.

The Athletics Department plans to make replica HokieBird statues available for sale to the public. Proceeds from the sale of HokieBird statues will go to support University efforts to offset academic budget shortfalls.

The Roanoke artist, Judith Damon is a fine arts graduate of Bennington College in Vermont and has extensive experience as a teacher of art. She specializes in sculpture and oil painting. Damon has a son who is a graduate of Virginia Tech with a degree in aeronautical engineering. For more information on JRD ART go to www.jrdart.com

Fans can follow the progress of the HokieBird statue throughout the year and get information concerning purchasing a replica statue when they become available at www.hokiesports.com