The wait for the red line DART train was almost more anticipation than a girl could take while on the road to attend an Art Walk in perhaps my favorite cubby hole of the city. On Saturday, September 24 I had the great pleasure of exploring the possibilities that were the Deep Ellum Art Walk.
Being a thrifty college student, I decided not to drive but to let the city’s public transportation take me to my final destination; it didn’t hurt that UTD was so kind to give it’s attending students a free DART pass for all forms of DART transportation. My roommate and I hopped on the red line train, which only took about 20 minutes to get from Arapaho Station to Pearl Station, before we were launched off of the red line train and ran across the pathway to the green line train. We almost missed the green train towards Buckner which would drop us off right at the Deep Ellum stop so that we only had to walk a block to Elm St.
Ah, we had arrived at our stop in front of the large metal sculptures of figures with birds which used to be the resting place of the Deep Ellum Bridge. We took our very short stroll to Main St which is where we began to look for art galleries that were supporting the Art Walk. We came across our first stop which was Deep Ellum Radio’s store. As we walked inside there was a man playing an acoustic guitar and singing while the art crowd milled around the store looking at pieces on the walls. The fabulous thing about this stop on our scavenger hunt of art galleries was that food and drinks were FREE! They were serving beer, soda, wine, and what looked like bruschetta. All of the pieces on display were for sale and ranged from very different types of mediums. While at this stop we did not realize that there was a handy dandy map that could have told us the other gallery stops.
We continued down Main and ran into another gallery, this time with balloons outside its doors and we gladly went in to see the artist that was showing at this gallery. Here at the gallery they had a video playing of how the artist created his mixed media paintings. It was extremely interesting to watch because I, like many other viewers, sit and stare at a piece and ask myself, “Well, how did he do it?” It was amazing to actually see an artist explain how he developed such moving pieces of abstract art. At this stop they too had beverages for their guests and here is where we learned of the map. Deep Ellum had put together a map of all of the galleries that were participating in the Art Walk. We gladly took one of the maps and began to decide what the best route was for us to take to the next venue. I have to say that the map was amazingly helpful because though I had heard of some of these galleries before I had no idea where they were in conjunction to Deep Ellum.
As we walked around Elm, Main, and Commerce, we hit all of the stops that weren’t too far past Malcom X Blvd and saw the amazing works of art that were on display for us to view. The great thing about this walk was that you could see who in the area was participating, because just like everyone else they were huddling together with their map bouncing from place to place. At every venue we went to there was either some form of alcoholic drink or beverage for the patrons to enjoy for free and a sense of community between each stop. At one stop they actually had an artist in the middle of the room creating a painting which I thought was just so amazing to see the greats at work. People mixed and mingled throughout the night until the doors closed at the galleries at 10:00pm.
We left the Art Walk to discuss what we had seen and how diverse the art and the crowd of people were. It was not intimidating like some other art gallery events that you might try to attend but rather with this walk in particular you felt a family vibe. We came to the walk with $20 in our pocket just in case we needed to purchase something for the event and left without spending a penny! We rewarded ourselves for being so frugally cultured by stopping at Serious Pizza for a slice that set us back $3.25.