Dannette Davis, of Kay Davis Associates, has donated a $110,000 statue of the late George Floyd to Harris County.
The entrepreneur and philanthropist commissioned the piece, “A Conversation with George,” by renowned sculptress Adrienne Rison-Isom.
Isom shared that it took months of research and learning about Floyd to bring the life-sized bronze statue to life.
“I met with many of Floyd’s family and friends while creating this piece and everyone described him as having a playful, approachable temperament and human nature,” said Isom. “I wanted to represent that by sculpting him with a nonintimidating facial expression and easy-going body language.”
From the beginning of the project, Davis and Isom made it a point to make sure that the Floyd Family Foundation was involved and approved of the sculpture.
“It’s his family and they need to be good with it and support,” said Davis. “If they are good with it then we know that we have done our job.”
Commissioner Rodney Ellis, whose Precinct 1 includes the Third Ward neighborhood where Floyd grew up, was among the first supporters of the project, along with Houston Councilwoman Carolyn Shabazz. They both worked alongside Davis and the Kay Davis In The Community Foundation to choose the perfect location.
“Initially we thought of the Third Ward area until the idea of Tom Bass Park was mentioned. It was really an “aha” moment for us all. The beauty of Tom Bass, surrounded by the lakes and nature, really captures Floyd’s peaceful demeanor as described by his family and friends,” Davis shared.
The sculpture depicts Floyd seated at an outdoor table welcoming everyone, all races and ethnic backgrounds, to have a seat and join him. The symbolism of Floyd being an approachable guy who would ” spark” conversation or friendship with anyone is what Davis says she wants visitors to take away.
Many do not know that Floyd was also an artist.
Davis was impressed when she learned that he played a major part in the rise of Houston’s most notable rap group, “The Screwed Up Click.” The group, which was led by the legendary DJ Screw, helped popularize Houston’s iconic “chopped and screwed” sound that has become synonymous with Houston rap.
“We all witnessed the impact that George Floyd made on the world, but at the end of the day, he was a ‘regular guy’ with a few extraordinary talents. He was an athlete and artist, but he was also a father, a son, and a brother,” said Davis. “Just like all of us he was a multi-dimensional human trying to find his way in this world.”
She hopes that the life-size bronze statue will not only serve as a tribute to Floyd but will also serve history as a public bookmark, capturing a snapshot of a transformative moment in time.
“I think it’s important to focus on his humanity and ours, taking a break from the political messaging that typically follows the mentioning of his name. How do we make life better for the young people he cared about and mentored,” said Davis. “This gift of life-size art should make you ponder your life choices and future. It is also a beautiful bronze piece to be appreciated and admired when visited.”
She hopes that it will show Floyd from a unique perspective and foster positive conversations on race.
The official unveiling of the statue will be held in May to honor the anniversary of George Floyd’s death.