Best Public Sculpture (2010)

Deep Ellum's Traveling Man

If only because you can only shoot so many portraits in front of brick walls and murals, the Traveling Man has been a welcome addition to the Dallas cityscape. But after a year of keeping watch over Deep Ellum's western front, the hulking guitar-headed robot man, towering public art installation and friend to all giant metal birds, has finally shed his novelty. A year ago as we watched the Traveling Man come together, artists Brad Oldham and Brandon Oldenburg said the design was all about nodding to Deep Ellum's history—from the Traveling Man's pants of steel to a creation myth about an elm tree and a bottle of gin—while haters complained it was too corporate, too whimsical or even too reflective. A year on, though, the argument's died down and this three-piece sculpture series has become something else entirely: a familiar welcome home into the city's best-loved neighborhood.


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