Texas Connects Us: Colorful Murals Bring People Back to Deep Ellum

At any time on any day you'll find an ongoing photo shoot just east of downtown Dallas.

Armed with cameras or cell phones, you'll spot people taking snapshots down side streets and alleys, over back doors and parking lots.

They're capturing the area's numerous murals. Splashed on a canvas of brick and mortar they tell the ever-changing story of Deep Ellum.

Artist Dan Colcer made Dallas his home at a time when few ventured to the neighborhood.

"It was dead. It needed a little make-up, let's put it like that," Colcer said.

His mural called "Catching Fish" is a popular attraction for visitors along Main Street and is part of the "42 Murals Project."

Real estate developer Scott Rohrman came up with the idea of the "42 Murals Project" after his company bought up properties in the neighborhood. They decided to select artists to paint 42 murals to celebrate the area's rich art history and bring people back to Deep Ellum.

So far, the idea is working.

"The goal is to have local artists painting what means a lot to them on the walls," Rohrman said. "We want people to come to Deep Ellum – start on Main Street and just wander."

Yoga instructor Dana Hill comes weekly, snapping yoga poses in front of the colorful walls to grow her reach on Instagram.

"They're everywhere. [There's] an opportunity to find something that vibes with the look I'm going for," Hill said.

Soon, some of the murals will be painted over and replaced with new murals.

Rohrman said it will be an opportunity for more artists to show their work and shape the landscape of Deep Ellum.

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