Deep Ellum Mural Soon to Be a Lost Art

With a well-known tunnel going away the end is drawing near for a roadside exhibit in Dallas, TX known for capturing the local talent according to a recent article.

Harold Jones, a photographer, took a picture of a mural by Jeff Thornton there and says he will document more works before they’re gone, said the article.

The concrete canvas will disappear in a cloud of dust, said writer David Flick.

No date has been set for an implosion of the underpass, according to DART Spokesman Morgan Lyons, says Flick. DART is the Dallas subway rail system.

The sloping underpass will be filled in, burying all kinds of art.

Through the year the paintings have been tagged with graffiti at the Deep Ellum site of the tunnel. Deep Ellum is an arts and entertainment district that has been around a long time but has been struggling in recent years because of crime and the economy.

Indeed, some people who drive by the murals assume that all the paintings are the spontaneous work of graffiti artists, writes Flick.

Several times since 1993 Good-Latimer Expressway has been blocked off and the artists have put up murals in a single day, wrote Flick.

“The decision to destroy the tunnel has prompted some opposition but not from Frank Campagna, the man who organized the four projects collectively known as ‘Tunnelvisions,'” Flick stated. “He said he was okay with it.”

“On the other hand the tunnel keeps Deep Ellum isolated,” Campagna told Flick. “After DART decides on a date for imploding the underpass I intend to schedule an exhibition of the artists whose murals have been displayed there.”

The talent of nearly 50 artists was utilized in the “Tunnelvisions” project.

When a DART station is built near the present location of the underpass it will have a $1.5 million gateway feature designed to reflect the artistic nature of the neighborhood, according to research.

The old railroad “tunnel” drops into what was a major railroad tracks that were built in 1930.

“There is no area quite like it in the Metroplex,” said writer Jeff Cooper.

During the 1960 and 70s Deep Ellum was largely a warehouse and industrial district which started to attract artists to the cheap loft space that was available.

Russell Hobbs painted a mural a decade ago on the side of what is now the Curtain Club on Commerce Street.

“The coolest thing of all was on Saturday night,” he said.

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