Transforming Harvey's Destruction

Hurricane Harvey destroyed my 100-year-old historic warehouse in downtown Elgin, Texas. The winds ripped the facade off the building, which was to be for the future Margo Sawyer Sculpture Garden. It has been a devastating personal loss and is now a structural danger to the community. I want to take this opportunity to turn this destruction into a place of beauty: a sculpture garden that will bring joy to this rural community of Elgin, Texas.

I am a sculptor and Professor of Sculpture and Extended Media at the University of Texas at Austin, and was named the State of Texas Sculptor of the Year in 2015.  Born in Washington D.C., I grew up in Africa, US & the United Kingdom and I have called Elgin, Texas my home for the last 18 years. I have invested in several historic preservation projects here and have helped foster a community of artists working in Elgin, Texas.

This building is one of the oldest and most historic buildings in Elgin.  I need funds to provide public safety features and employ architectural professionals to stabilize and restructure the building. I plan to salvage as much of original materials as I can, but unfortunately not everything made it out in one piece.

Stabilizing the building will be complex and expensive, so I hope to raise a total of $50,000. By my estimations, approximately $40,000 will go towards:

-Chain-link fence rental (3-6 months)
-Engineering, permits & architectural expertise.
-Concrete footings and anchors for 20+ tilt wall trusses
-Brick removal and cleaning
-Labor (clearing out material & repairing/rebuilding walls)

The remaining $10,000 will be used for additional expenses and initial designs of the sculpture garden.

Any contributions of time, labor and/or expertise would also be greatly appreciated.  With each passing day, the structure becomes more and more compromised, so time is of the essence. So many lives have been devastated by Hurricane Harvey, and I am one story.

I’ve witnessed just how powerful art can be in transforming and changing lives. My artwork, Synchronicity of Color Red & Blue in Discovery Green, has become the much-loved art icon for the City of Houston that is in such pain right now.  Harvey has deviated too many lives in Texan, including my own; how do we transform ourselves from this? I think art can help. It will take a village to make this happen, which is why I am asking for your help to turn this tragedy around.  Thank you in advance of your consideration and support.


 See top
  • Brenda & Darrell David 
    • $100 
    • 39 mos
  • Camille Lyons 
    • $100 
    • 41 mos
  • Rebecca Looten 
    • $75 
    • 41 mos
  • Anonymous 
    • $200 
    • 42 mos
  • Kristin Lucas 
    • $50 
    • 42 mos
See all


Margo Sawyer 
Elgin, TX
  • #1 fundraising platform

    More people start fundraisers on GoFundMe than on any other platform. Learn more

  • GoFundMe Guarantee

    In the rare case something isn’t right, we will work with you to determine if misuse occurred. Learn more

  • Expert advice, 24/7

    Contact us with your questions and we’ll answer, day or night. Learn more