Monday, September 12, 2011

Totally Texas -- Art in the Bark Park

Bark Park Central

2530 Commerce St., Dallas


I never expected to get a news tip from a homeless person. But as I hiked across downtown Dallas recently to do some research at the library, the pleasant woman with the little dog looked so beguiling I pulled out my wallet for a copy of STREET Zine.

For those of you new to downtown, this is a monthly newspaper sold, as its front page states, by people living in poverty. The suggested donation -- purchase price -- is one dollar, but you may offer more.

The front page story was about the murals that grace the concrete pillars of Interstate 45 between downtown Dallas and the Deep Ellum neighborhood (2530 Commerce at Good-Latimer). The murals are adjacent to Bark Park Central, the newly refurbished dog park in Deep Ellum. The park’s sponsor, the Deep Ellum Foundation, invited local artists to participate in a mural beautification project this summer.

Among those who responded were seven self-taught artists from the art program of the Stewpot, the haven for homeless and at-risk individuals at 408 Park Avenue and Young Streets in Dallas. Although the Stewpot is better known for providing meals at The Bridge, Dallas’s homeless assistance center, it also offers sponsors an art program. The Deep Ellum Foundation found its proposed murals worthy to grace the sides of two of the under-highway pillars.

The dog park was on my way home, so I stopped to look the place over. The park caught my eye because of its innovative use of an otherwise neglected space. And because of its use of that resource all too neglected in Dallas -- shade. We all know shade is great when it come from trees. But shade from a highway overpass -- why not? With temperatures creeping back toward the one hundred degree mark, any shade is great. And so is art in public places.

For more information about the Stewpot’s programs, see or call 214-746-2785. Only vendors using badges are authorized by the Stewpot to sell STREET Zine. Vendors are required to comply with Dallas city ordinances. The paper welcomes pro bono articles from writers and journalists.


1 comment:

  1. When ever I hear about Deep Ellum I remember a ditty my mother taught me. In this case it explains how much the area has changed. Here goes: "When you goes down Deep Ellum, put your money in your shoe cause those womens in Deep Ellum, got the Deep Ellum blues." --Old Blind Lemon