UPDATE: The Woodlands mourns the passing of Tony Motto

By: J. Werner
| Published 09/16/2014



Tony Motto Memorial Fund established.

The funeral service for Anthony "Tony" Motto will be at the Veterans Memorial Cemetery Monday, September 29, at 10:00 a.m. The cemetery is located at 10410 Veterans Memorial Drive in Houston (77038).

In lieu of flowers, donations may be made to the "Tony Motto Memorial Fund" at:

4747 Research Forest
The Woodlands, TX 77381

Should you wish to send the Motto family a note or card, please mail to Tony's wife.

Jo Lynn Motto
PO Box 8992
The Woodlands, Texas 77387


It is with great sadness that Woodlands Online announces the passing of one of our community’s most outstanding citizens and greatest promoter of the arts...Tony Motto.

Truly a Renaissance man, this multi-talented individual was the ultimate multi-tasker. Motto had several art passions. First and foremost was his love of The Woodlands wonderful collection of outdoor sculptures, the largest collection in the world for a community the size of The Woodlands. He always introduced himself as the 'unofficial ambassador of The Woodlands outdoor sculpture collection.' Tony took it upon himself to ensure the preservation of the collection by forming the Greater Woodlands Public Art Foundation, a 501(c)3 non-profit organization, for the collection of donations to maintain and restore the sculptures on an as-needed basis.

Tony started a grassroots business to showcase the collection, and Sculp-tours was formed. Thousands took the tours to learn about the sculptures and the behind-the-scenes information about them. It was one of The Woodlands' first tourist attractions, and his books, posters, cards, etc., were his loving tribute to the collection.

Anything pertinent to sculptures Tony took under his wing, and one special project was the veterans memorial project slated for Town Green Park. He was instrumental in getting the fundraising ball rolling to build the life-size scale model, “The Way Home,” sculpted by nationally acclaimed artist, Edd Hayes, of Spring, Texas. The sculpture will depict two south Montgomery natives, Cory Kosters and Zachary Endsley, who knew each other and died months apart in Iraq and Afghanistan in 2007. The memorial tribute will honor all branches of the military service and those who have served. Tony has been this project's most ardent supporter.

A member of the Woodlands Art League, Motto always ensured their events were well-promoted and attended by being one of their spokespersons. Of particular importance to Tony was the availability of art to the community. He left the corporate environment to teach art in the educational system.

“I felt it was important to introduce kids to art, so that they would grow up with an appreciation for it,” said Motto on more than one occasion. “We’re just stewards of the arts and this wonderful sculpture collection. We have to prepare the next generation to take over the responsibility, and have the desire to do so.”

It is with great regret that the next generation will be pressed to do so much sooner than we would ever have expected. That responsibility includes the other artistic endeavors Motto was passionate about. The Artist Expo, the annual event which provides over 100 professional art classes, all mediums, to the masses, was especially important to Tony.

“Where else can you bring this level of talent together to share with the community?” asked Motto. “It was Tim Mulvey’s vision and mine, to make art accessible to the masses, and create a love for art,” Tony added.

For the thousands who participated in the event over the years, Motto certainly achieved his objective of introducing art to the masses. Their love of art will perpetuate due to Tony’s intense efforts. All who knew Tony have grown as a result of their interaction with him. The magnitude of the man can best be described in the words of Sir Isaac Newton, also the name of one of Tony’s most beloved outdoor sculptures...“If I have seen further it is by standing on the shoulders of giants.”

Funeral arrangements will be provided in an update to this article, when available.

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