Spot the Art at Trinity Groves: Part I

You can find art almost anywhere in Dallas, especially if you know where to look. And when you find yourself at Trinity Groves, there’s plenty to look at.

Keep an eye out for these four thought-provoking works next time you visit. Even better, when you spot them, snap a picture and use the hashtag #TrinityGroves to share them with others.

On the west side of Trinity Groves is a three-story mural depicting a pair of hands opening to release three birds as they fly toward freedom. But this isn’t just any old inspirational image; the painting was commissioned as a statement for the Handle With Care Project, an organization that fights human trafficking through the arts.

German artist James Bullough began work on “Release” last November following a crowd-funded campaign set up to support HWC’s “Deface a Wall, Not a Body” project. Another mural depicts a single, unencumbered bird coming in for landing. The striking crimson feathers of the painting’s vermillion flycatchers, birds native to Texas, further illuminate the mural’s true meaning.

“Releasing birds in a painting is kind of typical, until we found out that these birds in particular are a brilliant red and have to remain free to stay beautiful,” says Handle With Care’s Michael McPheeters. “You’ll never find them in a zoo or in any kind of captivity, because they lose their color. So we’re painting the birds all around Dallas as a way for us to explain the power of public art and what we’re doing.”

At 354 Singleton Blvd., near the Calatrava bridge entrance to Trinity Groves, an unassuming building became the canvas for Michael Sieben‘s “Cartoon Birds.” Painted in the Austin-based artist’s signature style, with a bold pink and turquoise palette and athletic undertones, the two thunderbirds rushing at each other is an exciting piece. Sieben, who also works as a graphic designer and illustrator, was commissioned by the Dallas Contemporary to create the mural with the help of Josh Row as a nod to the area’s burgeoning growth.

The famous Pegasus sign gets an out-of-this-world update in Wheron‘s constellation-inspired mural at the intersection of Beeville and Fabrication streets. Commissioned by the nearby Erin Cluley Gallery, the mural’s design graced an exclusive line of t-shirts and sweatshirts during the gallery’s El Mercado exhibit in December 2014.

Its official name is Fabrication Yard, but many know the space at 621 Fabrication St. as the “free wall.” Artists both professional and amateur are encouraged to paint, spray, tag and scribble there with abandon. The city hopes that by providing a legal outlet for graffiti, illegal activity might lessen overall. It’s also a way to nurture this oft-dismissed art form while nurturing future artists.

“I have a great respect for this; art can take on many characteristics,” says Sgt. Elliott Forge, one of the project’s organizers.

Assistant Chief Randall Blankenbaker said at the wall’s opening, “We hope you will not only display your talents here, but make your influence on younger artists to do this in a way that is legal.”

Look for next week’s blog, when we reveal four more works of art that are making Trinity Groves a more vibrant, beautiful place.