The Deep Ellum mural depicting a group of soldiers break-dancing, previously painted and subsequently painted over on a wall at the Green Room Bar, has found a new home. Rudolph’s Meat Market and Sausage Factory in Deep Ellum has donated one of their walls to have the mural back up and keep it close to its original location.
As previously reported, the original mural was unveiled on the side of the Green Room on April 17, and on June 29, the piece of art was painted over in black. The cover-up came as a shock to both Preston Pannek, one of the artists who helped create the mural, and the staff at the Green Room itself. Quickly it was discovered that the owners of the Green Room building, Westdale Real Estate and Management, had ordered the mural to be painted over.
What followed was a series of confusing events. Initial backlash from the public toward Westdale and their decision made waves quickly, with media outlets ranging from local Dallas television affiliates to Breitbart Texas running the story. Joe Beard, president and CEO of Westdale, released a statement promising to overturn their decision.
“On Saturday, I personally reached out to Preston Pannek, one of the artists, and spoke to him to communicate my apologies for the actions of our organization and to express that we recognize and admit our error in judgment and wished to fix our mistake by offering to pay to replace the original artwork,” reads part of the statement from Beard on June 29.
This agreement only lasted for days, and as reported by The Dallas Morning News, by July 3 Westdale had opted to donate $50,000 to the Military Warriors Support Foundation in lieu of having the mural repainted in its original location.
On July 3, Pannek posted a video on Facebook featuring himself, artist Izk Davies and photojournalist Jeremy Lock to announce the new location for the mural.
“We’re going to resurrect this mural over at the back of Rudolph’s,” Pannek says in the video. “Over a 100-year-old meat market that’s been here in Deep Ellum, and it’s not going anywhere anytime soon, so the mural can be there forever.”
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In the video it’s announced that painting at Rudolph’s will start Monday, Aug. 6, and an open invitation was given for anyone who wants to watch the re-creation of the piece of art. The video also includes information about their GoFundMe page for the project.
“We are raising money to resurrect the Veterans Mural in Deep Ellum," a message from the GoFundMe page reads. "The Veterans Mural was painted over black with no notice or reason for the act. The new mural will be going up on Rudolph's Meat Market, a business who has been in Deep Ellum for over 100 years. Help us keep Deep Ellums art culture alive by bringing back the only mural in Deep Ellum that represented our country and the people who defend it. We have already raised a portion of the funding and will start the mural despite having raised all the money needed for the artists. Any amount given will help compensate the time for the artists.”
Lock, the photojournalist whose image served as inspiration for the mural, says it's all about the meaning of the image.
"It’s because of you guys that spoke up and stood with us that’s making this a reality,” Lock says in the video. “It sucked the way it all happened. It came down, but we’re over that and we just want to bring it back to the community. So we’re looking at a little bit more funds to raise, but at the end of the day it’s all about this image and what it stands for in the community. It’s about bringing a tribute to our veterans.”