DART Needs Art

How do you like this description of Deep Ellum?

"One can view Deep Ellum as a palimpsest; a layering of stories and histories; a place that has been written on more than once, with the earlier writing incompletely erased and often legible. Within the last two decades, the vibrant street-life of Deep Ellum's urban neighborhood has, perhaps, created the most recent manifestation of the palimpsest that is Deep Ellum."

Jeez, that's damned near poetic -- or, as Stephen Colbert might say, that's the most beautiful fucking thing I have ever heard. So it's kind of ironic, innit, that it comes from the very people who just tore down one of Deep Ellum's most iconic manifestations: the Good-Latimer Expressway Tunnel. Yup. those words come from a DART release promoting a competition to find artists who might be interested in contributing to the so-called "Gateway Project," which will be the pedestrian walkways from the Green Line station down Main, Elm and Commerce streets to the neighborhood itself. There are three project sites, which you'll find after the jump, along with a notice about a sit-down tonight between local artists and DART folks.

The release issued by DART is more like a brief; it has everything from rules and regulations to a calendar filled with deadlines to a map of the so-called project sites. And, we hear, there's $1.5 mil in the pot for artists who are accepted to work on the Gateway Project. Now, would-be artists need not apply to work on the Green Line Deep Ellum station. No, that gig's already taken: by Julie Cohn, who got a brief mention in the DART Fall 2006 InMotion newsletter (and who artists who actually live and work in Deep Ellum say they've never heard of). In the story about Cohn, in fact, it says:

The central motif of the station will be based on a palimpsest — an ancient manuscript that has been written on, scraped off, and used again, creating a layered effect — with several references to the area's varied cultural background. "I was very impressed with the whole process," Cohn says.

This gig's for three project sites between the station and Deep Ellum: the newly created intersection of Good-Latimer and Gaston, where you used to enter the old tunnel; the northeast corner corner of Good-Latimer and Elm, another tunnel entrance-exit; and just south of Main and Good-Latimer.

Those interested in trying to bite off a piece of this project can show up at 6 tonight at Frank Campagna's Kettle Art gallery, 2714 Elm Street (right next to Club Dada). DART reps will be there to talk up the project and, most likely, answer questions like, "How much money will I get if I get chosen?" and "Who, exactly, is Julie Cohn?" and "Why the hell did you have to tear down our bridge, you sons of bitches?" --Robert Wilonsky

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Robert Wilonsky
Contact: Robert Wilonsky