"Howdy, Art Folks"

"Howdy, Art Folks"Frank Campagna's influence--and his art--is all over Deep Ellum. If there's a mural inside or outside a bar or restaurant, chances are he painted it. He's something of a leader to Deep Ellum's long-standing community of streetwise artists, organizing art shows here and there, and tapping his compadres for the occasional art commission. Campagna organizes the painting of the Good Latimer tunnels every few years, and he's a former board member--and rabble-rouser--of the dead-and-buried Deep Ellum Center for the Arts.

Another of Campagna's pet projects is the annual Tribute to Big Tex, held for the past five years at the Art Bar. He called for entries this year and, as in past years, he expects big things from the open call for artists to render in any media their homages to the bigger-than-life statue that welcomes visitors to the State Fair of Texas. "We can accept art up until October 3," Campagna says, "and anything goes." This year's show opens October 5 (the State Fair opens Friday).

Big Tex, Campagna says, is the largest piece of folk art in Texas, and lends itself easily to visual art inspiration. Look for beer-can sculptures, computer-generated art, Lichtenstein-esque cartoon panels, mounds of clay--like he says, anything goes. The work is still trickling in, but Campagna confirms contributions from Ixchal Aguilar, Sergio Garcia, Curt "Pistol" Eichelberger, Fletch (of Art Bar fame), Melissa Row, Amy Dinsdale, Frankie Gutierrez, and Arthur Stephens. And Broose Dickinson is back in Texas, landing in Splendora outside Houston after a stint in New York City; if anyone can talk him into painting something, it's Campagna. Raise a glass to Big Tex and admire the artists' individual interpretations of the world's largest freestanding puppet. Wander in to the Art Bar, 2803 Main St. in Deep Ellum, anytime after 8 p.m. on October 5. Contributing artists can call Campagna at (214) 327-7232 no later than Tuesday, October 3.


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