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Posted by on Nov 27, 2016 | 127 comments

Street Art in Dallas (Deep Ellum)

Not that long ago, my husband and I flew to Dallas for the weekend.  The objective was to spend as much time as possible with friends we have not seen in more than a decade.

I knew sightseeing was going to be very limited but that didn’t stop me from reading many “What to Do in Dallas” articles.

During that research time, one thing was getting clearer and clearer. Dallas is a great city for murals and street art lovers.

Articles such as “Best Walls in Dallas” and “Most Intagrammed Places in Dallas” kept popping as soon as I hit the search button.

I had no time to go on a comprehensive tour around the city.  Therefore, I opted to visit the place with the densest concentration of street art in Dallas.

That is how a beautiful Monday morning I ended up in Deep Ellum, an arts and entertainment neighborhood which is part of Downtown Dallas (some consider it an independent entity).

street art in Dallas

Murals and Street Art, Deep Ellum, Dallas, Texas

Murals and Street Art, Deep Ellum, Dallas, Texas

The story of Deep Ellum is full of ups and downs. The roots of the area go back to the late 19th century when it functioned as a commercial district for certain minority groups.

Murals and Street Art, Deep Ellum, Dallas, Texas

Murals and Street Art, Deep Ellum, Dallas, Texas

street art in Dallas

Industrialization arrived to the area when a cotton gin factory was built (and later expanded) along Elm Street and Trunk Avenue.  In 1914, Henry Ford placed one of his first automobile plants in the neighborhood.

Murals and Street Art, Deep Ellum, Dallas, Texas

Murals and Street Art, Deep Ellum, Dallas, Texas

Murals and Street Art, Deep Ellum, Dallas, Texas

Once the industrial companies moved from the area, Deep Ellum gained reputation as Dallas’ liveliest entertainment district.  Bars, night clubs and restaurants flooded the streets.

Murals and Street Art, Deep Ellum, Dallas, Texas

Murals and Street Art, Deep Ellum, Dallas, Texas

Murals and Street Art, Deep Ellum, Dallas, Texas

During the first decade of the 21st century, the area was perceived as having a high crime rate.  That factor combined with the closing of different music venues contributed to the demise of the neighborhood.  Things started to change when the City of Dallas welcomed large scale residential, multi-family dwelling construction to the area.

Murals and Street Art, Deep Ellum, Dallas, Texas

Murals and Street Art, Deep Ellum, Dallas, Texas

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The neighborhood has gone through a series of revitalization projects but, in my opinion, the most impactful one has been 42 MURALS.

street art in Dallas

Murals and Street Art, Deep Ellum, Dallas, Texas

Murals and Street Art, Deep Ellum, Dallas, Texas

This is a project run by the real estate company 42 VENTURES and curated by Lesli Marshall.  Artists from anywhere were asked to submit mural proposals. Ultimately 42 were selected.

Murals and Street Art, Deep Ellum, Dallas, Texas

street art in Dallas

Murals and Street Art, Deep Ellum, Dallas, Texas

Not all the murals and art expressions in Deep Ellum derive from the project but a great majority does.  The project has attracted hundreds of visitors to the area for one single reason: it has help to produce some of the best street art in Dallas (and we can even say in surrounding areas).

Murals and Street Art, Deep Ellum, Dallas, Texas

Murals and Street Art, Deep Ellum, Dallas, Texas

Murals and Street Art, Deep Ellum, Dallas, Texas

I visited Deep Ellum on a Friday evening right after my plane landed at the Dallas Love Field.  The night was already upon us, so, picture taking was complicated.  We walked around the neighborhood after dinner (battling the cold) and scanned some of the best murals.

Murals and Street Art, Deep Ellum, Dallas, Texas

Murals and Street Art, Deep Ellum, Dallas, Texas

Murals and Street Art, Deep Ellum, Dallas, Texas

On Monday, I had less than an hour to walk around and take some pictures. There are apps and PDF documents that can help you to spot the best of the best in the area.  I didn’t have time for that.  Therefore, I had to employ the ancient method of walking around in search of the unknown.

Murals and Street Art, Deep Ellum, Dallas, Texas

Murals and Street Art, Deep Ellum, Dallas, Texas

Murals and Street Art, Deep Ellum, Dallas, Texas

The effort paid dividends since I walked the main and side streets and scrambled behind the buildings. It was a sprint full of fun and laugh.  There were several others doing the same thing I was doing.  After almost being run over by two cars and sacrificing my two little toes (they still hurt), I think I got a decent feel for Deep Ellum.

Murals and Street Art, Deep Ellum, Dallas, Texas

Murals and Street Art, Deep Ellum, Dallas, Texas

Murals and Street Art, Deep Ellum, Dallas, Texas

My final thoughts? I got really impressed by all the murals in Deep Ellum.  What a blast of color, creativity and artistry!  This is some of the best street art I have seen in a long time.

There is no doubt I be back in search of more street art in Dallas.

Murals and Street Art, Deep Ellum, Dallas, Texas

street art in Dallas

Murals and Street Art, Deep Ellum, Dallas, Texas

Murals and Street Art, Deep Ellum, Dallas, Texas

Murals and Street Art, Deep Ellum, Dallas, Texas

Murals and Street Art, Deep Ellum, Dallas, Texas

Details

Do you enjoy street art?  What cities, areas or neighborhoods do you recommend to see street art?

Pin it for later?

Discover the best street art in Dallas at the Deep Ellum neighborhood. The area contains more than 40 elaborated murals.

 

127 Comments

  1. Loads of great street art here. One of the them looks like a Kookaburra! I wonder what a Kookaburra is doing in Dallas. 🙂

    • I didn’t notice that bird looked like a kookaburra but it is completely true. I also wander what it is doing there!

  2. Never really thought of Dallas as a great place for street art – thanks for sharing #mondayescapes

    • I am with you. I didn’t know about this side of the city. But, during my research, street art and murals kept popping up. I had to check those out.

  3. Woweeee! The street art in Dallas is amazing! Would rival Brighton and Bristol! Sounds like a fab trip! #MondayEscapes

    • Really? I have to check those two places.

  4. I love that there is not only absolutely loads of street art but interactive guides to help you find it all too. how wonderful. Thanks for linking up to #MondayEscapes

    • You are right! One of the biggest assets of the project is the informative and easy to access guides. They give you info about the artists and give you some perspective on what you are observing.

  5. I like that it seems that every big city now has an outside museum of murals and graffiti. Was in Miami over a month ago and was able to sneak in a little mural sightseeing myself.

    • Seems like more cities are using street art and murals to give a new life to areas that have been struggling for a long time. I know this is big in Miami.

    • We are in the same page! I still have to capture tons of places here in Los Angeles.

  6. Great job in finding all the street art! Will have to look out for it the next time I go to Dallas!

    • You bet! This is a really cool area.

  7. Wow! Gorgeous Street Art and Photography ~ such colors for the eye!

    Wishing you a gentle week ~ ^_^

    • Ahhh, thanks a lot! I am glad you liked the pictures.

  8. I love seeing pictures of the street art found in Dallas, can’t wait to finally see it in person!
    Diana L. recently posted..I’m back!My Profile

    • Hope you can go and see it! I want to go back already.

  9. I love hunting for street art! We have a ton here in Los Angeles, but I’ve also enjoyed viewing it in Lisbon, Seattle, and Paris! #citytripping

    • I know we have tons of it in Los Angeles. I still have to go out there and discover more of what we have in the city. Great you have been able to find cool stuff in so many cities.

  10. I started scrolling through this post, taking note of my favourites. But there were so many that I lost count. What an awesome project and a great way to draw people to the area! #citytripping

    • I know! There are so many good murals in the area! I have problems picking a favorite too. I even had problem deciding what photos to post. I am sure the murals have bought tons of people to the area.

  11. These are brilliant. I had no idea that Dallas had a street art scene. In fact, and this is embarrassing, most of what I think I know about Dallas comes from the namesake TV programme 20+ years ago! #Mondayescapes

    • I have heard a lot about that TV show but I have never seen an episode (or even know what it is about). I think that is embarrassing too!

  12. Beautiful and artistic.

    • Great you see it like that!

  13. I have to say that the street art is just amazing and colourful and vibrant!

    • I am glad you liked it! I couldn’t believe the quantity and quality of the art.

  14. You found so many wonderful murals,Ruth! I never knew that Dallas was known for this attribute. I do like expressive art like this.

    The Mission area of San Francisco also has wonderful full size murals like these.

    • I went to San Francisco but didn’t make it to the Mission area. It is time to visit the city again.

    • That is an area that is high on my list. I have seen pictures and the works are totally amazing. Thanks for stopping by.

  15. What an incredible post! I never considered Dallas to be a place to go for street art – it seems I was very wrong. I came here via #citytripping and #MondayEscapes, but this post would be perfect for my own #CulturedKids linky, live on the Pigeon Pair and Me this Friday, 2 Dec. I’d be delighted if you wanted to join in!
    Nell (the Pigeon Pair and Me) recently posted..A day at Gouda cheese market, with Lego and Smurf ice-creamMy Profile

    • Nell, thanks for inviting me. I will link for sure.

  16. Wow, never knew Dallas had so much cool street art. I love how vibrant and colourful it all is. I can imagine you were having to stop every two seconds to take another photo haha

    • You are right about that. Sometimes, I was able to capture three or four murals without moving that much. They are all concentrated in a small area(I mean several blocks but the walk between them is not that long).

  17. Wow – amazing Ruth! I expected Austin to have a huge street art scene but for some reason not Dallas. Some of these pieces are amazing and a credit to the 42 VENTURES project #citytripping

    • I haven’t been to Austin in a long time but I think the art scene in Dallas in better than in Austin. The good thing is that in Dallas a lot of the good murals are close to each other. I do not think this is true for Austin.

      • Good to know! I forgot to mention I particularly liked the bird mural. Thanks for sharing with us on #FarawayFiles

  18. I’m so glad that you had a great time in Dallas! We have family that lives there, so we visit often, but it also means that we don’t really get the opportunity to see the touristy side of the city. I would love to visit Deep Ellum one day! All of the murals are so pretty, and they definitely add a lot of color to the city!

    • You gotta go Ashley! I know it is not easy with family in tow but I think this would be a great “day trip” for the entire crew. There are good places to eat and the arts district is located nearby.

  19. Ohh I wish Tromso had more street art! I love the frog and the flowers the most!

    • The flowers one are part of a pie shop! I didn’t have a chance to try the goodies. Maybe next time!

  20. Super vibrant. Local street color on steroids! What a great photo safari.

    • Ha, ha! Great way to put it in words!

    • I am glad this side of Dallas is coming out through this post. I thought I was the only Dallas oblivious person out there.

  21. What incredible street art – the colours are amazing. And definitely best to focus on one area and see it properly, I think. I’ve also actually been learning more about neighbouring Fort Worth this week so great to get another side of Texas with this slice of Dallas. #citytripping
    Cathy (Mummytravels) recently posted..The November round-up: my travel essentialsMy Profile

    • I didn’t have a chance to stop by Fort Worth but I have read great things about the city. Seems like it is very cool in there!

  22. I’m glad you didn’t get run over by a car! I love street art, and I especially like that this area is so dense with it. Considering that Dallas is only a 3 hour drive from home for me, I don’t visit very often. (I blame my kids. They keep doing things on weekends.) This is very tempting, though.
    Michele {Malaysian Meanders} recently posted..The Fading Art of Map ReadingMy Profile

    • You should stop by. I think your kids will like the area. It may be a nice place for the entire family.

    • Quality is the best asset of the area. I hope the murals are well maintained.

  23. Great post, love the colorful wall art

    • Thanks Carol! Glad you liked the photos.

  24. There’s some fabulous talent there, they’re really good – I do enjoy street art and murals, when it’s done well. I love the bird and the fine pies one! #farawayfiles

    • I am with you. I prefer to stop by murals that have some sort of meaning or message. It is more and interesting like that.

  25. I adore street art – both publicly planned and graffiti – as long as there is thought and energy put towards it. These are beautiful, creative and energizing to a neighborhood that needed it. We lived just outside Dallas in 2005-6 and Deep Ellum was still colorful, but a little dicey in parts. Love to see effort to invest in the area and draw outsiders in for a visit. Keep up the culture I say – making it accessible to all? Even better. Cheers and thanks for linking with #FarawayFiles, Erin

    • Erin, I am glad you have visited Deep Ellum. I assume it was very different back in 2005 – 2006. The area looks great now. It looks nice and it has a good selection of restaurants and events. It is hard to move on an explore other areas because this particular one is so cool.

    • Thanks Stephanie!

  26. I never knew Dallas has such amazing street art! Wow, I love those giant paintings of people. Gorgeous!

    • Happy to know I am making people aware of this side of Dallas. Seems like it is not a popular one.

    • I didn’t have time to try proper Mexican food in there. I ate ton of BBQ though.

    • Oh yeah! There are some bare walls but I am assuming somebody has plans for them.

  27. That is an incredible amount of high quality street art, I think I would be blown away to see it in real life. I enjoyed exploring the East Side Gallery in Berlin.

    • I have heard about the great street art in Berlin. I have been to Germany but not to Berlin. You can imagine I am dying to go.

  28. Fabulous! I like how the artists have incorporated the doorways into the murals.

    • Isn’t that cool? There are even paintings on the floor.

  29. I think the bird might be by an local artist (in Oz). Very similar style…

    • Second comment about that. I will need to check.

  30. I’ve never associated street art with Dallas. Thanks for this new window. 🙂

    • I am glad you can associate the city with street art now. I would love to see what else they offer in terms of that (will have to go back).

    • I saw you post about the street art in the Azores. It was really good. Thanks for telling me about Boston. It would be cool to look for some art in there.

  31. What wonderful talent to do all the great artwork! The colors that you shot are so bright and cheerful.
    bettyl – NZ recently posted..More garden colorMy Profile

    • Thanks Betty! Well, you can see why I am attracted to this kind of places. Agree about the talent of those artists.

    • Of wow! That should be quite a long trip! Maybe not for the weekend but I am sure a trip to Texas will not disappoint.

  32. Oh WOW! The colours and the designs of all of these are just amazing 🙂 I will never tire of street art, never! Thanks for sharing these 😀

    • Marcella, that means a lot coming from the queen of street art. With so many options in different cities, I think you will never stop exploring this type of art.

  33. Dallas is my hometown so thanks for sharing one of the great areas. I love the street art in Deep Ellum, we need more areas like it. Next time you are there, check out Pecan Lodge for some great bbq! #TheWeeklyPostcard.

    • Anisa, I went to Pecan Lodge! That place changed the idea I had in mind about BBQ. It was completely delicious. We went back before out flight but it is closed on Mondays.

  34. The street art is incredible. Really interesting to see a different side to Dallas and the background behind Deep Ellum too. Thanks for linking to #citytripping

    • I was surprised by this part of Dallas too. So bad we didn’t have more time to explore.

    • Seems like I will need to go to San Francisco. Went some years ago but didn’t make it to the Mission District.

  35. Street Art is really popular these days isn’t it, people are starting to seek it out in new places they visit which is such a good idea! It’s that popular that there are apps and pdfs? Who knew! I can’t actually pick which muriel is my favourite, there are so many and the colours are fantastic. Thank you for providing all this information, Pinned for the future. #TheWeeklyPostcard

    • Angie, yes, the movement have become so popular that there are interactive guides of some areas. Usually, the people in charge of the project work on this too. I think it is genius since it widens the reach of the project.

  36. Love the street art! so cool!
    #flyawayfriday

    • Natalie, so glad you liked it!

  37. You certainly did get a decent feel for it, Ruth. These pictures are fantastic and I feel I’ve had a good tour of the area with you. Street art can really invigorate an area and this is a wonderful example. Dallas is not the first place I’d think of when wondering where to go to see great street art so thanks for enlightening me on this week’s #FarawayFiles. Great post!

    • Oh Clare, thanks a lot! It is great to share what I discover during my travels. I like to inspire others to search for the things they like.

  38. Ruth! I just want to reach through this computer screen and hug you!!! I’m headed to Dallas on Thursday and this is just what i needed! I am super excited now!!

    • Alright!!!! I hope you enjoy your trip! Do stop by Deep Ellum. I am sure you are going to like it.

  39. How beautiful! How do you guys discover these streets when you travel? I’ve been meaning to see such street art since forever, but somehow I never manage to find the right places. Are these buildings in the lower end neighborhoods?

    • Anda, I stumbled upon some articles and then googled “street art in Dallas.” That is how I found the place. In here, the murals are close to each other, so, the walk is not bad at all. That is not the case in other places. The neighborhood is mostly commercial but there are some residential units popping up here and there.

    • Well, my toes are healing very well. Glad you enjoyed the post.

  40. I love the way street art is popping up all over the place. Creating interest in places that were once ugly side walls. It also has reduced the amount of graffiti as the hooligans seem to respect the street art and don’t tag on it very often.
    Sally@Toddlers on Tour recently posted..Christmas Gift Ideas for Kids Who TravelMy Profile

    • It is true. I think certain artists have raised the bar for street art. People are not that interested in scribbles and ugly stuff. Things have changed.

  41. Great post! As locals, we loved seeing it. The whole area is seeing a lot of street art – even the cities are commissioning utility boxes and murals on overpasses. Plus the light art on a couple of buildings downtown – the Big D is big on art lately!
    Rob+Ann @TravelLatte(.net) recently posted..The 2016 TravelLatte Holiday Gift GuideMy Profile

    • Hello Rob, do you call Dallas home? Thanks for giving me your personal insight. I am very excited about Dallas as a destination.

  42. Hi, Ruth. Street art is always fun, and I love the brilliant colors. Thanks for co-hosting this week. #TPThursday.

    • Your welcome Nancie. Thanks for stopping by.

    • Seems like this side of Dallas is not mainstream yet. I enjoyed my visit a lot.

  43. Hi! I enjoyed yout street art photos very much. Thanks for sharing.

    • No problem! Glad you liked the photos!

  44. I have to say I’m not a huge fan of street art. But some of it can be quite good, And I know lots of other people do like it. It looks like you made some interesting finds here, like the owl. Glad you got to see a little of Dallas.

    • I used to be not interesting on this type of art. But, I was blow away by certain works. Now, I enjoy walking around in search of different pieces.

  45. What a beautiful collection of photographs of murals! Amazing photos

  46. Omg I’ve heard Dallas and Austin have a ton of awesome street art! Love all the colorful photos – I need to get myself there! Thanks for joining #FlyAwayFriday!! xo

  47. Great and interesting series of photos!

  48. Never know where we’ll find you — you always keep us guessing. But it is always a fun tour.

  49. Wow this street art is rad!!! I love a good mural!! They have amazing walls in Denver and still haven’t seen them all!! Looks like you saw plenty in Dallas! Cant wait to see what you share tomorrow on FlyAwayFriday!!

  50. These are some fascinating murals! I wanted to check out Deep Ellum a couple of months ago when I was in Dallas for a work trip, but didn’t have the time. Will most certainly put this on my “must do” list next time I am in Dallas again! BTW, what was with that soda bottle with Osama bin Laden’s portrait? Did you find that out from the shop keeper?
    Ray recently posted..Chicago’s Off-the-Beaten-Path Attractions – Chicago Sports MuseumMy Profile

  51. that´s a lot of street art. I live in a rather small town and there are no street art. Sadly in a way. I like them when they are well done and not spoiled by others.

  52. Hi! The street art photos are very beautiful. I enjoyed them very much. Thanks for sharing.

  53. That is certainly an incredible blast of colors! Very enjoyable indeed.

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