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U.S. Congressman Bill Thomas Bronze Bust, Calif. 21st Congressional District, 1979 to 2007

“Everything went well at the unveiling yesterday and Congressman Thomas was very pleased with his portrait bronze and he also really loved the patina. Thank you some much for all your great work on the portrait bust.”
~ Leigh Ann Cook
Office of Congressman Bill Thomas
Location: The William Thomas Airport Terminal, Bakersfield, California
Size: Life Size
Year Completed: 2005

Slater was asked to personally meet with Congressman Bill Thomas in Washington, D.C. (which also required they receive security clearance).  She and her husband visited the Congressman in his grand office overlooking the Washington Monument at the Capitol Building. Slater took photographs and caliper measurements of Thomas. While there, the Congressman asked his aide to show the Slater around the Capitol Building seeing many beautiful sculptures including the highly guarded gallery of marble Vice Presidential Busts on the Senate side of the Capitol. The Slaters were also taken to the upper loge seat gallery of the Congressional House floor while a vote was taking place. (There is a feeling one gets when in the midst of our Governmental leaders on Capitol Hill, and it is easy to see how so many young people gravitate to D.C. to take part in that energized political process.)

After her visit with Congressman Thomas Slater sculpted his beautifully detailed life size clay portrait. When it was approved, molds were made and it was cast in bronze. The bronze portrait was custom crated and shipped to Bakersfield and installed in the new William Thomas Terminal at the International Airport.

Congressman Thomas was a member of the United States House of Representatives from 1979 to 2007, finishing his tenure representing California’s 21st congressional district and as Chairman of the important House Ways and Means Committee.