Archive for tressie knowlton


Posted in Artists, Community, Deep Ellum, Love with tags , , , , , , on August 27, 2009 by artlovemagic

As many of you know, Deep Ellum has been going through an outdoor art revival of late. From the creation of the 30 foot tall Traveling Man Statue, to the new murals that run along Good Latimer, to now- the refreshing of DE’s famous Art Park. The Art Park project has involved many local artists including a few core ArtLoveMagic members. The following is the press release created by Tressie Knowlton, pics are by the lovely Carolyn Collins.

Deep Ellum Welcomes New Public Artwork to Art Park

ArtPark 3 by Carolyn Collins.jpgDallas, TX – A Ribbon Cutting event will welcome the new public artwork to Deep Ellum’s Art Park on Saturday, September 12th. From 2-4 pm, the Deep Ellum Foundation invites artists, residents, and visitors to enjoy more than 30 new outdoor paintings.

The concrete sculptures that have greeted visitors since the mid 90s have been repainted for the first time in over a decade. Immediately following the DART Super Saturday event a few blocks over , the Deep Ellum Foundation will host the Art Park Ribbon Cutting. Art Park is located along Commerce Street, Canton Street, and Good Latimer Expressway under Interstate 75. Just walk across Good Latimer from Bark Park Central.

Thanks to funding from the Farmers Market Tax Increment Financing District, the entire Deep Ellum Connector is getting a makeover. The lights that illuminate the sculptures after dark are the result of electrical repairs to Art Park’s lighting system. The lights have not worked for years, but now they shine brightly on the new paintings. ArtPark 2 by Carolyn Collins.jpg

The Deep Ellum Foundation is also working with the Texas Department of Transportation to add mural paintings to many of the highway columns under Interstate 75 as the next phase of the Art Park project.

“The lighting improvements were critical to light the artwork at night and to increase public safety in the area,” says longtime Deep Ellum developer, John Miller of PlanB Development, who is a member of both the Farmers Market and Deep Ellum TIF boards.

“The benefit of the art installation goes a long way in connecting the Farmers Market community to Deep Ellum.”

ArtPark 1 by Carolyn Collins.jpgThe Deep Ellum Foundation organized a contest to select the new images for Art Park. A selection panel reviewed the 60 plus submissions and selected a variety of styles, colors and imagery to adorn the sculptures for years to come.

Jasmine Donnell, a Deep Ellum resident and local artist, painted a sculpture that happens to be one block from where she lives.

There are so many talented artists in the Deep Ellum community, I was honored to have been chosen. Most of my art is normally just viewed by friends, family and clients through my work. So, it’s personally gratifying to have my art displayed in the neighborhood I live in, for the people I admire the most,” explains Donnell.

Michael Lagocki’s image reflects a character he calls “Haley”.  ArtPark 5 by Carolyn Collins.jpg He is glad to share her love with Deep Ellum.

“Outdoor art is about sharing something with the community. My intent with my piece was to bless the neighborhood, maybe put a smile on a few faces, and share a positive emotion.”

The project did, indeed, connect the community. Passersby stopped to ask what was going on, and to watch the artists in action. Many residents taking their dogs for a stroll in Bark Park Central walked over to say hello. Some interested onlookers even staked out for hours.

“It was amazing to see how many people came out while we were painting. They took pictures and thanked us for the art,” tells Lagocki.  ArtPark 6 by Carolyn Collins.jpg

Many of the participating artists will be on hand at the Art Park Ribbon Cutting to answer questions about their pieces and listen to feedback from the community. The Deep Ellum Foundation invites everyone to come enjoy some refreshments and take in the new scenery.

For more information about the Art Park Ribbon Cutting-
Contact: Lee Ann Stone
Deep Ellum Foundation
(214) 747-3337

**Carolyn Collins’ photos in order of appearance:
David Rodriguez in action
Jasmine Donnell and Kate Langley (with parents) working on their sculptures
Eddie Walker painting “She’s DET”
Michael Lagocki and “Haley”
Many locals stopped by to watch the painters

ArtLoveMagic Youth Workshop – Take 2

Posted in Artists, Community, Deep Ellum, Love, Magic with tags , , , , , , , , , on July 30, 2009 by artlovemagic


Art, Love and Magic Connecting our Community

words by Tressie Knowlton – photos by Nicole Rodriguez

“I never wanna leave this place!” exclaimed one young art student to his teacher.  He clung to his painting and the comics he had drawn as he walked out the door of the Deep Ellum Community Center on Friday.

About a hundred other students most likely made similar comments and had great memories to share, along with their new artwork, after the second-ever ArtLoveMagic Youth Workshop.  The Deep Ellum Foundation teamed up with ArtLoveMagic to offer a fun, interactive art experience to Dallas-area youth July 24th.


The workshop started with the younger bunch. Sixty 6-12 year olds showed up full of energy and ready to be entertained.  Yikes!  But, we were ready.  At the pottery station, Conner Muldoon had the wheel spinning and enough “mud” to get all of the kids nice and dirty.  The hands-on experience molding the clay had them all screaming with delight.

Mike Lagocki acted as host and tour guide while the groups of children flowed through the workshop stations learning art techniques and creating side-by-side ArtLoveMagic’s professional mentors.  Graffiti art with Isaac Davies and Deep Ellum muralist icon, Frank Campagna, received rave reviews from the youngsters!  Deb Driscoll and Melody Hay introduced mixed-media artwork through Melody’s signature subject: trees.


“Thank you.  Thank you so much,” said Monica as she shook my hand.  She had come to pick up her son.  He isn’t a member of Boys & Girls Clubs of Greater Dallas or Arlington’s SafeHaven, like the other kids who enjoyed the workshop.  Juan is a 9-year-old local boy looking for art opportunities.  Monica, a single working mom, had heard about the workshop and asked if there was any way her son could join in, because “he loves art”.  So, of course, I replied “Absolutely!  That’s what this workshop is all about.”

With art education disappearing from public school curriculum as fast as independent coffee shops did at the birth of Starbucks, there is a greater need than ever to encourage our youth to participate in the arts.  The best way we could think to make that happen was to connect students with people who were kids just like them, and are now…well…artists!

Samax Amen and Khalid Robertson sat at a table with 12 teenagers during the afternoon session.  Many of them drew in silence while Samax shared stories about his comics and his journey to becoming a professional artist.


“I don’t have any expectations,” Samax laughed after I’d asked him if he’d seen some nice artwork develop from the group he was working with.  ”I remember being nervous drawing in front of people when I was a teenager.  You finally get over that, but I don’t want any of them to feel that way today.”

The forty teens who participated in the afternoon session had the chance to free the right side of their brains through sketches, brushes, and spray paint.  The graffiti art station taught the basics of creating large-scale artwork, like the murals on walls all over Deep Ellum. Many students jumped at the chance to “tag” their names on the stone board.

“If ‘Baby Bricks’ starts showing up on walls in Deep Ellum, I’m going to know just who to blame,” laughed Campagna as he pointed to the words tagged on one of the boards.


For those who missed the workshop, Nicole Rodriguez and her camera lens captured the entire enchanting experience.  The magic of the day was obvious to all who stopped by – especially Susan Reese, one of the workshop’s major sponsors.

“This is great!” she smiled.  ”I’ve been watching the activity all day.  How can I help keep this program going?” she asked, and offered some excellent suggestions.

The combination of students aching to learn, artists excited to share, volunteers giving their time, and sponsors supporting the cause showed me that there is still a lot of good out there.  We just have to live outside ourselves for a while.  Days like Friday make me think that if we would all request what we need, give what we can, and receive with gratitude the world would be a lot brighter, ya know?


Special Thanks to our sponsors:

Jeanne Blanton – Don Blanton Art Endowment Fund

Susan Reese – Madison Partners, LLC

Randy Redmond – 2616 Commerce, Deep Ellum Foundation

Thanks to all of the great volunteers!  You are appreciated!

Press Release for next ArtLoveMagic Youth Workshop

Posted in Artists, Community, Deep Ellum, PR, Service with tags , , , on July 15, 2009 by artlovemagic

For Immediate Release

July 15, 2009

Deep Ellum Foundation

2630 Commerce St.

Dallas, TX 75226

(214) 747-3337

Dallas Kids and Artists Creating Magic Again

2nd ArtLoveMagic Youth Workshop July 24th

Dallas, TX – Deep Ellum reaches out to Dallas kids with its youth art program.  501(c)3 organization, the Deep Ellum Foundation, teams up with Dallas art and performance collective, ArtLoveMagic, to host the second ArtLoveMagic Youth Workshop Friday, July 24th, 2009.

After a successful premiere workshop in May, new energy for the interactive art program sparked the interest of Deep Ellum benefactors.

Jeanne Blanton, local real estate and property owner, is founding the Don Blanton Art Endowment Fund in memory of her late husband.  Cultivating an appreciation for art, especially in kids, is very important to Blanton.  Her first donation from the endowment is a sponsorship of the ArtLoveMagic Youth Workshop.

Madison Partners, LLC is a mainstay property management and real estate company in the Deep Ellum community.  Madison Partners’ CEO Susan Reese is happy to support the new program.

“I believe that the interconnections between solid community and the arts are far-reaching.  It is with exposure to the arts and hands-on experience within the arts that young people experience the joy, challenges and beauty of creating.  In return for supporting this opportunity, our community becomes the beneficiary of more involved, more sensitive, more complete citizens.”

The July workshop will connect kids from Boys and Girls Club Dallas and Arlington’s SafeHaven with artist mentors from ArtLoveMagic.  Five visual art genres will be offered to the students.  The kids will draw, paint and cartoon alongside the artists.  Students will also try their hand at creating pottery and graffiti art.

The interactive model is a fun, different approach to teaching art techniques, tells Michael Lagocki, ArtLoveMagic co-founder.

“This is not like a classroom where the children are taught from the front of a room, using a pre-planned lesson. The kids are in the mix, touching the tools, reacting to what the artist is creating live, just as the artist is reacting to them. Every outing is absolutely unique because it is dependent on what the artists and the kids create together.”

Art, fun, and learning make the workshop an unforgettable experience for all involved.  Pizza at lunch tops off the day, and leaves lots of smiling faces in its wake.

For more information about the ArtLoveMagic Youth Workshop, please contact:

Tressie Knowlton

Deep Ellum Foundation

Development & Marketing Coordinator

(214) 707 9833