Now that I had found a location and community that could provide tools and support, I needed to find a way of funding this project. Last year, the City of Dallas Office of Cultural Affairs had begun a new micro-grant project for artists. To qualify, the project would need to be completed within the city and be of benefit of the community.
These posed interesting parameters for me since I have never worked in public art or outdoor sculpture. Porcelain or liquid-form enamel is most often used for exterior projects because the glass will not fade or corrode over time.
I needed a specific location for the piece and was connected with the owner of 1730 S. Akard St, a single story, square brick building, in the Cedars that would be quite unremarkable if it were not completely covered in graffiti. I felt this would be a perfect setting for these mostly white enameled panels, and an opportunity for a collaboration of sorts with the local street artists. With the owner’s blessing, his building will be the temporary installation site of Crossroads.
The final element to the proposal was to finalize plans with KVO Industries and Judy Stone to get the work to California to enamel and then back to Dallas to install. The grant that I received does not cover all expenses of this piece, but it does provide the bulk of the money for materials, shipping, travel, insurance, and studio rental costs. Below is the project description that I proposed for the grant:
Project Crossroads. I am seeking funding for a site-specific wall installation in the Dallas Cedars neighborhood. As an urban industrial area in transition, it is well-suited for this piece. An architecturally inspired series of vitreous enameled wall panels will be installed at 1730 S. Akard St in the heart of this historic neighborhood. The brick facade of this building already has graffiti and tags and is situated between a community garden and local BBQ restaurant, Lee Harvey’s, on the corner of Akard St and Beaumont St.
These five steel and enamel panels will float above the work of these other urban artists. The shapes of the panels will come from the surrounding architecture and the fused-glass surfaces will use imagery of old hand-drawn maps of the city and street views from the late 1800’s, a high point of this neighborhood. The imagery, forms and colors are a blend of the past and present of Dallas.