Outside the bubble: Graffiti art brings color and culture to Dallas streets

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The DART’s light rail station offers a free form mural depicting anything and everything. (Courtesy of awesomeinsf.com)

 

Dallas is one of the few, rare American cities with a low graffiti problem. According to Dallas police, the department receives about 60 reports in the form of vandalism each month. However, there is the issue of whether an illustrated building wall constitutes as art.

Have no fear, there are still at least five places where street art is alive and well
in Dallas.

Deep Ellum is the one place that is heavily saturated with murals. While Dallas drivers suffer in misery on 75, under the 75 overpass, a bundle of creativity divides downtown and the old jazz quarter with more than a dozen painted columns. From serene, brightly-hued trees to a brittle blue tree in the background of a thoughtful human’s profile, there is an abundance of mural styles.

DART’s Deep Ellum light station’s mural wall also has no theme. An angry giraffe is accompanied with a singing sheep and a cello-playing antelope pained against a bright blue sky. The brick wall includes several separate pieces including a gigantic black converse high top and a surrealistic pink and white piece with eyes.

The simple black silhouettes of artists that used to dominate the area’s music scene back in the glory days of Deep Ellum are the hardest to find, but the most interesting. It intertwines the present revitalization of the neighborhood with a past many people seem to forget existed.

Outside of the Deep Ellum, a wall at a strip mall near Downtown Dallas on Oates Drive serves a memorial for Dallas street artist Minus Won. The pieces, created by numerous artists in memorial of Minus Won, feature everything from a confused cherry popsicle to words in the traditional graffiti style.

The final mural is a publicly commissioned piece, but originally it was a mosaic specifically for the Stewart Title Building in North Dallas. The piece, by Miguel Covarrubias, incorporates the four elements: water, earth, fire and air. Located near the Dallas Museum of Art in downtown Dallas’ Art District, the piece’s blues, reds and oranges stand out against the city’s bleak grays.

 

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