There's a new destination in the Bishop Arts District for fans of Instagram-worthy public art. Paintings of Texas flora and fauna at Bishop and Melba streets in Dallas are ripe for 'gramming.
The 120-foot-long mural painted by artists Haylee Ryan and Courtney Miles is filled with oversized cacti, jack rabbits, flowers, dandelions and more. Beyond a pop of public art in the neighborhood, the mural's wall serves to hide forthcoming construction in the neighborhood from the Exxir Group.
The mixed-use development is a long time coming, says Michael Nazerian, who has been working on the project for his family's company for 11 years. He and his brother Alex Nazerian knew they wanted to incorporate the neighborhood's character -- and characters -- throughout the construction process.
"At the end of the day, we are a developer and we can build the building, but it is human beings who create the environment," Michael Nazerian says.
Alex Nazarian found artists Ryan and Miles just a block away from the blank walls. Both are represented by the Jen Maudlin Gallery just down Bishop Street.
Ryan had been wanting to do some sort of public art in the neighborhood, and this seemed too perfect to pass up, she says. She enlisted Miles' help, and it's now Ryan's longest mural to date.
The oversized flora and fauna was chosen "so that people would feel small an inside of the nature," Ryan says.
The women painted roughly 8 a.m. to midnight over the course of three days to bring the Texas garden mural to life.
The design features several spots that are specifically designed for Instagrammable picture poses:
- Butterfly wings that look like you're wearing them
- Dandelions that appear to be blown away in the wind
- Vines waiting to be sat upon
- Cacti behind a stage ready for a band to pick up and play.
Even before the painting was done, Ryan and Miles watched visitors stop and take photos.
"I am just hoping that it turns into a space that people can go and feel inspired," Ryan says. "That people can go and spend time with others in a way that is pure nature."
The mural will stay up for a year or more, Ryan says. The Nazarians have plans to include several outdoor community spaces with local art in the finished development project, they say. They hope to create spaces with human connections: "Places where people can gather, interact and get to know each other," Michael Nazarian says.
The Melba Street mural is just the start. They plan to host events including art fairs and concerts in the small plaza in front of the mural.
Like this art? Here are some upcoming events in Dallas on May 6
- Ryan's exhibition opening at the Neighborhood Store, 411 N. Bishop Street, 7 to 10 p.m. May 6
- Miles' exhibition opening at the Jen Maudlin Gallery, 408 N. Bishop Street, 6:30 to 10 p.m. May 6