Deep Ellum Art

Deep Ellum mural project recognizes 6 Dallas artists with top awards

Deep Ellum mural project recognizes 6 artists with top awards

Deep Ellumphants mural
The "Deep Ellumphants" mural was one of six winners. Photo courtesy of Adrian Torres

Six murals have been selected as winners in a public art project in Deep Ellum, including a much-admired mural of elephants painted on the side of a building at 3601 Main St.

Called "42 Murals," it's a project spearheaded by 42 Galleries, a floating gallery concept from 42 Real Estate, the Deep Ellum development company owned by Scott Rohrman. Founded in 2015, 42 Galleries was conceived as a way to add public art in Deep Ellum.

"We consider the entire neighborhood to be a gallery," Rohrman says. "We've had more than 150 art exhibitions in and around our buildings, and just started calling it 42 Galleries as a catch phrase."

For this contest, they recruited 42 artists to paint artworks on various blank walls, 42 being the lucky number.

The six winning murals fall into two sets. One set earned the most "likes" on the 42 Murals Instagram site, including Social Worship" by Jeremy Biggers and "Viva Deep Ellum" by Jorge Gutierrez.

A second set was awarded for outstanding work, committed community involvement, inspiration to the overall project, high number of likes, and service to others.

Rohrman gives a nod to all of the muralists, stating that, "We were also proud of the murals who did not receive awards, because those murals are well-loved by many people as well."

The murals led to other commissions, following the visibility brought by participation in the 42 Murals project. "We were contacted by interested parties from New York, Australia, London, and many other places," Rohrman says. "One of the artists was selected by a city in another state to curate and help run a mural project based on the 42 Murals project and they found this artist via 42 Murals."

A 2017 edition is underway, with the theme being portraits, which can be realistic or abstract. Artists can submit as many entries as they choose. A stipend will be paid, and the artist is not committed to paint the mural just by submitting.  Practices from the 2015 Edition may or may not be followed in the 2017 Edition, but they will be similar.

The deadline for submissions is April 15 at 4:42 pm. Submissions can be emailed to

These being murals, their essential nature is fleeting, Rohrman says.

"We don't guarantee permanent status to any mural, and the artists all understood that their murals would be painted over at some point, or removed for construction or other reasons," he says. "But the goal is to keep the murals that resonate with the public for a longer time."