Oak Cliff in Dallas, Texas is inundated with stray dogs. They roam the streets, sometimes in packs of 10 or more. They kill cats, they get hit by cars, they attack joggers and they reproduce like mad. Living on the streets isn’t good for them either. They belong in homes of people who care for them.
We had the opportunity to paint a mural behind Teresa’s apartment and decided that this would be the perfect way to advocate for the animals in Oak Cliff so we designed a mural and went about speaking to the buildings property owner and the owner of the parking lot behind the building.
The mural was immediately approved by the owner of the building as well as the owner of the parking lot on which we would have to stand in order to paint the building. Here is a photo of the wall as is and a Photoshop mock-up of the mural that we had planned to create there:
Early on in the process of creating this mural Christina Rees from http://www.Glasstire.com heard about the mural and wrote about it on Glasstire. We were extremely happy to see that people were writing about it the mural since our original intention was not only to ask pet owners to take care of their pets but to bring attention to the problem.
Unfortunately, the owner of the Artisan’s Collective gathered other business owners to go to the owner of the parking lot and complain about the mural. We had already begun to prepare the wall, filling in large holes in the brick when we received the bad news that the owners had changed their minds.
Several people had seen the image of the proposed mural on Facebook and shared it with their friends and in a forum for pet lovers in Oak Cliff called FIDO Oak Cliff Community Forum and Lost and Found and pretty soon a lot of people were aware of the situation. That is how Chris Watts and Todd Fischer from The Petropolitan on Emmit and Hampton found out about the project and contacted us about doing the mural on the side of their building. The Petropolitan was still in the process of finishing the inside of the building and we were able to gather donations because of Amy Cowan and Go Oak Cliff as well as Sherwin Williams on Davis St. and Home Depot on Fort Worth in Oak Cliff which has been letting us use their scaffolding free of charge. There are really so many people to thank that we are incredibly encouraged by the support of the community. Andy Don Emmons helped us move more scaffolding from the Brian’s house (two artist friends of ours that together make up the art duo Chuck & George) who also donated a ton of paint. The MAC was in the process of moving and they also donated a good deal of paint to the project.
Sharon Grigsby at the Dallas Morning News picked up the story and wrote an article about it as well.
This was the photo that I took when we first visited the spot where the mural would be.
This was the mock up that I made very quickly after channel 11 came to the scene to film. I eventually changed it to add the dog which had inspired Chris and Todd to care for animals. As you can see, she was a disabled dog and a mix of several breeds.
We had a grand opening/painting party to celebrate the opening of The Petropolitan and a lot of brave and hardworking people came out and climbed high scaffolding in order to help us to paint. Before the Grand Opening we had to disassemble what was on the wall and draw in the design. Unfortunately, we were not able to simply project our image onto the wall and trace it so Teresa and I were forced to draw the entire thing by hand. It was very strange to draw on that scale because of the fact that we had to do it on a small scaffold which made it very difficult to step back and gain perspective on the mural.
We also received complaints about the mural at the new location but Chris and Todd didn’t back down. They were even told that there would be protesters during the grand opening but we were fortunate to enjoy the day without protest.
The Oak Cliff Advocate wrote about it here:
Here is Teresa sitting in front of the newly sketched in mural.
DallasVoice did an article about The Petropolitan in an issue about pets and featured the photoshop mockup of the mural along with an ad for The Petropolitan.
The owners of the Petropolitan were interested in turning some of their space into an art exhibition space so I took the opportunity to make an art show for cats!! I also used the show as a way to poke light fun at the art world.