A new gallery is opening in Deep Ellum with the goal of celebrating the artists and the eclectic vibe of the neighborhood. That's great, but even better, it will feature a built-in bar. Called Deep Ellum Art Co., or simply Art Co. — for the signature sign that has hung over its front door — it's founded by entrepreneur John LaRue, who also owns So-Cal Tacos in Grapevine.
Located at 3200 Commerce St., the facility was built in 1949 and was once a printing press repair shop, and before that an auto parts and service center for a local dealership in the '50s. The sign on the building used to say Smart Co., but someone made off with the first two letters, leaving "Art Co." as an inspiration.
The building has 5,000 square feet with 10,000 surrounding square feet of treed outdoor space.
LaRue says that Deep Ellum Art Co. will represent a full spectrum of the arts including "music, culinary, sculpture, 2D, 3D, digital and more." The facility will combine an indoor-outdoor art gallery, stage for live music, and nearly 60-foot bar with 31 taps, 24 beers, and seven cocktails.
The building is at the corner of Murray Street — until recently on the outer, less-explored edge of Deep Ellum. However, the center of gravity is about to shift with the addition of the Case Building Apartments, a residential high-rise being built nearby.
In anticipation of its September opening, Deep Ellum Art Co. has several commissioned pieces up already and a first group gallery show that takes place September 1-3. Exterior panels, being created now, will will feature works by more than 20 artists.
LaRue has appointed Amber Crimmings as artistic director, and they have big plans, including an outdoor artist market and an artist mentor program.
"It's our goal to create a space that showcases local artists, a place where they can come together and work as a community and grow in their craft," he says.
The schedule includes:
- September 1–2: Forgotten Space (Grateful Dead Tribute)
- September 2: Inhabitants group art show
- September 3: Arkansauce
- September 5: Zach Witness’ Electric Revival Album Release Party
- September 9: Art Yard Artist Market
- September 14: "Get Inky" Printmakers Group Show
- September 22: Thaddeus Ford immersive cultural experience
- October 4-15: Skinny Cooks Residency (every Wednesday)
- October 7: Friday's Foolery and Lunar Eclectic with MOJO
- October 13: Henry and The Invisibles Intergalactic Space Disco Starparty with DJ Mikey Rodge
- October 14: Class Reunion with Nervana, Green Dazed, and Sedated