East Dallas News
East Dallas artists convene to create official neighborhood arts district
A group of artists in East Dallas are working to organize an official neighborhood arts district. Called the East Dallas Arts District, it would build an official support system for the East Dallas and Old East Dallas arts community, making connections with art-focused events such as art walks, exhibitions, open studios, and pop ups.
The concept was hatched by Andrea Lamarsaude, owner of Art on Main, the gallery and artists' workspace, who says she was inspired by similar neighborhood initatives such as Cedars Open Studios, the nonprofit dedicated to promoting the arts Community in the Cedars district.
"There is so much artistic talent in East and Old East Dallas - 60-plus artists, galleries, creative businesses," Lamarsaude says. "My thought was, let’s make it an official unified arts district."
Lamarsaude is joined by a team of like-minded players in the local arts community including Jason Cohen, co-owner of Curiosities Antiques & Ephemeral Space Art Gallery; photographer Imani Black; Jacque Forsher, a founding member of SLANT Artist Collective; Logan Renfrow, owner of Blue Dragon Fine Art Gallery; Terri Thoman, owner of Paper Arts; and Izzy Thigpin, a Booker T. Washington High School student and an intern at Art on Main.
They've been gathering names and information on what other arts-related businesses might benefit from such a venture. They'll host their first public meeting on November 16 at Art on Main, to solicit more input and perhaps find more artists.
"It would be so useful to have a map for people who were interested in finding studios and related businesses," she says. "Making an official community in East Dallas would be community building, business building, arts building, and show off local talent."
They hope to kick off the East Dallas Arts District with an annual art walk, starting in 2024.
"East Dallas" is a term used loosely for many geographical areas but Lamarsaude says they've carved out a specific space for their needs that does not infringe on other established districts.
It would extend from Exposition Avenue to Winsted Drive and Parry Avenue to East Mockingbird Lane.
"Deep Ellum has its own identity, and on the other side of the lake you have the White Rock Lake Artists' Studio Tour," she says. "Our northernmost boundary would be Mockingbird Lane."
On the south side, they'll extend to just the other side of I-30 on Parry Avenue.
"What I understand is that neighborhood is still considered Old East Dallas, and there are some artists in front of Fair Park," she says.
East Dallas is also a mindset.
"East Dallas represents ground zero of the true original Dallas, with older homes, not cookie-cutter, with inherent culture - that's what I think of when I hear 'East Dallas'," she says.
The meeting will take place Thursday, November 16, from 6-8 pm, at 4428 Main St., consisting of a “Get to Know Us” presentation & Q&A followed by chance to chat with the team and mix and mingle over refreshements. To gauge the turnout, they're requesting people RSVP which you can do here.