"It was a shock to see such beautiful buildings. To me it was and to see the carvings. To me it was hard to see them to start with because they're old and they're deteriorating, but now probably you don't see them, it's been so many years...I started to do some drawings, then I began to see traces of color. When it rained, the moist would bring color on the walls. Imagine there was still coloring there in places." - Octavio Medellin
Sculpture, Chichén Itzá
"I remember when I first became interested in sculpture. I was about 18 or 19 years old and was walking along the river in San Antonio and found this old mesquite log. I picked it up and took it home to carve. I think it gave me the incentive to continue as an artist."
- Octavio Medellin
Temple of the Warriors, Chichén Itzá
Upon his return to the U.S., Medellin continued to teach at various institutions (University of North Texas, Dallas Museum of Arts and Southern Methodist University) while finding time to do his own work. Throughout his career Medellin explored other media including ceramics, mosaics, glass, and lost-wax process in bronze casting, and introduced them to his students. During the 1950s, Medellin designed and implemented major art projects in Dallas that included Temple Emanu-El and the Mercantile National Bank. In 1966 he opened the Medellin School of Sculpture in Dallas [now the Creative Arts Center of Dallas] and continued to teach until semi-retirement in 1979 when he and his wife moved to Bandera, Texas. Medellin’s work has been represented in exhibitions and museums including the Dallas Museum of Arts, the Huntington Art Gallery at the University of Texas in Austin, the Meadows Museum at Southern Methodist University, the Witte Museum in San Antonio, and the Museum of Modern Art in New York. In 1977, he was awarded an honorary lifetime membership from the Texas Fine Arts Association, and in 1996 the Dallas Visual Arts Center, now the Dallas Contemporary, honored Medellin with the prestigious Legends Award. Medellin died in Dallas, Texas in 1999.
Jerry Bywaters Special Collections, Southern Methodist University, Dallas, Texas.
Octavio Medellin Art Work and Papers Digital Collection
Octavio Medellin Art Work and Papers Finding Aid
Evaline Sellors Art Work and Papers Finding Aid
Texas Artists: Paintings, Sculpture, and Works on Paper Digital Collection
Octavio Medellin Oral History Interview, July 30, 1998, by Sam Ratcliffe, Ellen Buie Niewyk and Judy Searles, Bywaters Special Collections, Southern Methodist University.