WEST PHILLY sculptor Clete Shields has been commissioned to create an 8-foot statue of country-music star Willie Nelson to be presented as a gift to the city of Austin, Texas, next year.
Shields' previous work, for directors Kevin Smith and Robert Rodriguez, as well as for the Franklin Mint, captured the eye of Capital Area Statues Inc., the Texas group that commissioned the sculpture.
It'll be made of clay, and later cast in bronze.
The sculpture features Nelson holding an acoustic guitar. Sadly, missing from Nelson's hand is a joint. The longtime pro-pot advocate was arrested Nov. 26 in Texas for alleged possession of four ounces of the natural the natural herb that Black Sabbath called "Sweet Leaf."
Out and about
WWE star Chris Jericho stopped by Rotten Ralph's (2nd & Chestnut) Tuesday night and graciously chatted up a fan who approached him outside before Jericho entered the bar. . . . Michael Vick was spied walking with a limp Tuesday night inside Buddakan (325 Chestnut), where the Eagles QB had dinner with his agent, Joel
Segal. Vick, dressed in a hoodie and jeans, went for chicken dumplings, edamame ravioli and tuna pizza, and drank only bottled water. . . . U.S. Rep. Bob Brady, Police Commissioner Charles Ramsey and Councilwoman Blondell Reynolds Brown were among guests at an NFL Players Association rally for local union officials Tuesday night at the Water Works restaurant. Eagles Winston Justice and Ellis Hobbs represented their team at the party, where NFLPA Executive Director DeMaurice Smith spoke about the difficult bargaining with team owners that could lead to a lockout next season. Smith thanked Water Works' owner, Michael Karloutsos, who wore an Eagles tie, for his hospitality. Philadelphia AFL-CIO President Pat Eiding pledged the support of local labor to the NFLPA.
Steve Wilkos speaks
Steve Wilkos, former head of security for the "Jerry Springer" Show, and now host of his own talk show ( seen here at 2 p.m. on myphl17), will speak this afternoon to students at the Prism Career Institute, in Upper Darby. The school, with several locations in the area, trains people for careers in health care, nursing, business, and education and legal fields.
HGTV just shot a project in Furlong, Bucks County, with local builder Heritage Building Group. The show, tentatively titled "Showhouse Showdown," has two identical houses being decorated by competing designers, and viewers pick a winner. Both homes will be put up for sale after the finale.
One-of-a-kind pieces from artists including Jason Goldberg, Dave Fox and Adam Wallacavage will be raffled off Sunday afternoon at Lucy's Top Hat (247 Market) during a fundraiser for the rehabilitation costs of 16-year-old Paige Biliski of Delaware, who was paralyzed in August in a diving accident. Biliski's cousin Toni Bourgeois, an event planner with Four Corners Management, which owns Lucy's, put together the 3-to-9 p.m. event. Cost is $5 at the door and includes a raffle ticket.
Local band in Web contest
Local band Jamison Celtic Rock is one of five finalists for Best Irish Band in America in Strangford Lough Brewing Co.'s contest. Online voting at slbc.ie runs through Monday. Frank Daly, marketing chief for the Dave Magrogan Group, which owns the Kildare's chain, is guitarist/vocalist.
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