The “Deep Rawlins” mural by Steve Hunter is one of 42 in downtown Dallas commissioned by 42 Properties in 2015. A contest will determine which three of these murals gets to stay, and which are painted over to make way for new art. This mural currently has 1,280 votes. Photo: Can Turkyilmaz
Back in 2014, folks at real estate company 42 Deep Ellum had an ambitious idea: to paint 42 new Deep Ellum murals on the walls of the properties they owned in downtown Dallas.
This project, called 42 Murals, allowed artists to show off their talent through murals painted on many of the historic buildings in the area. The mural project also provides free public art to thousands of visitors and residents.
“We made a conscious effort to focus mostly on local artists and not look at an artist’s reputation experience or resume — we judged entries pretty much solely on the submission,” said Scott Rohrman, manager of 42 Real Estate, LLC, and manager of general 42 Deep Ellum. “What we got is something we are really proud of.”
From the beginning, artists knew the murals would likely be temporary. Two years later, and 42 Murals is once again calling for submissions to create new Deep Ellum murals. That means painting over most of the old ones.
“You don’t go into the Dallas Museum of Art over a 20-year period and every painting is sitting on the same wall,” Rohrman said. “Art galleries change their art and when we went into the project, we told the artists their art might only be up for a short time, two year now, all the artists signed a contract before they started painting that we could not and would not guarantee their art would stay up forever.”
To decide which of the art stays and which get painted over, there’s an Instagram contest @42murals. The three most popular murals — the ones that get the most “likes” — will be preserved, with the artists receiving a cash prize. Voting ends tomorrow.