Give the Three Ross Ave. Underpass Proposals One Final Once-Over Before Tonight's Meeting

Categories: City Hall
mural and stix-thumb.jpg
One of the three Ross Avenue underpass finalists, this one from Koryn Rolstad
For as long as I can recall, the city's been talking about making the Ross Avenue underpass at Central Expressway in the Arts District an art project all on its own. Tonight, it inches closer to reality: On your way home, you're all invited to an open house meet-n-greet at the Latino Cultural Center with the three finalists for the project, which is still a ways off from becoming reality given it has to go through the Texas Department of Transportation and the city council and points in between before getting the okee-doke. Nevertheless, at 6:30 tonight there's a public forum at which those so interested will be asked for their input.

Kay Kallos, Public Art Program Manager in the city's Office of Cultural Affairs, tells Unfair Park this afternoon it was the surrounding neighborhood that got the project "back on track after years of being backlogged," and that "the neighborhood's driving the goals for this." I asked her to outline some of those goals; she was kind enough to send the entire list, which follows along with the other two finalists' works.

But among those topping the pops: "The project must provide a visually welcoming environment for drivers, pedestrians, and cyclists" and "The inclusion of elements that reflect the robust cultural environment of the Arts District and/or historical references to the City of Dallas is encouraged." (Judge for yourself.) Kallos says the CityDesign Studio at Dallas City Hall also got involved, lending the OCA one of its interns funded by that National Endowment for the Arts grant it received last summer.

The three finalists are: Bill FitzGibbons, who, in 1988, became the Department Head of Sculpture at the San Antonio Art Institute; Koryn Rolstad, a former arts commissioner for King Country Metro Arts Commission who's based in Seattle; and Joe O'Connell and Blessing Hancock of Arizona. Kallos says those finalists were chosen from 41 submissions -- some of which, she says, were turned in by locals.

"I think it's really important to emphasize all our Dallas artists are working around the world," she says. "Nobody works local only, and all the artists showing their proposals tonight show globally, and two [FitzGibbons and Rolstad] have 25-plus years working in public art. And the other two are really young and have a lot of work in the Southwest. There were local artists who were considered for the project. And it's not a requirement, but I can tell you we have never, ever, not in the two years I've been here, had a call where we didn't have Dallas-Fort Worth artists submit. If that were to happen, ever, we'd have to rethink how we do this."

Says Kallos, tonight's community meeting is a big deal for the OCA -- it's the first time in its history it has asked for the public's input on a public art project.

The selection panel will be in attendance tonight, and those attending can offer them their comments either in person or in writing. The panel will then reconvene tomorrow and announce its first-place finisher on Monday.

After that, Kallos says, TxDOT has to review and approve the submission, after which it'll go to the Public Art Committee of the OCA, then the Cultural Affairs Commission and then, last stop, the Dallas City Council.

"So it'll be fall till we have a time line for construction," she says. Still, the future is now. Or below, anyway.
Fitz-thumb.jpg
Bill FitzGibbons's proposal for the underpass

o'connell and blessing thumb.jpg
And, last but not least, the offering from Joe O'Connell and Blessing Hancock
From Kallos, the "goals for the project" are, as determined by the neighborhood:
* The project must provide a visually welcoming environment for drivers, pedestrians, and cyclists.

* The final project must encourage pedestrian and cyclist usage of the space by creating a sense of safety. The final artwork should use materials and methods reflecting best sustainable practices.

* The design must include energy efficient lighting features to create a safe environment.

* The inclusion of elements that reflect the robust cultural environment of the Arts District and/or historical references to the City of Dallas is encouraged.

* The proposal will also be reviewed by a team from the Texas Department of Transportation to ensure that the project meets the requirements for street safety and the use agreement for the location.

* Safety considerations prohibit the use of all red or all blue light, flashing lights or any element that could distract or interfere with drivers through the space.

* Any design element that would inhibit drivers' sight lines or create hazards as determined by TXDOT will not be accepted.

* Public Art Installations cannot create dark areas or limited visibility areas that could create safety issues for pedestrians.

* Artwork that would be mounted to the overhead structural support cannot exceed 100lbs per hanging point.

* The bridge structure cannot be altered, nor employ any modification that would compromise the existing structure.


My Voice Nation Help
40 comments
Sort: Newest | Oldest
Ellum08
Ellum08

How many of you jokesters were actually at the meeting last night? Thought so.

The last submission from Joe O'Connell and Blessing Hancock was actually pretty good and much better than pictures above.

But I forget how the Unfair Park malcontents like to take conceptual renderings literally.

Don Merritt
Don Merritt

Do you really need to be AT the meeting to see how ridiculous the choice of colors in ALL of the renderings come across? It's as though a kindergarten class was given some brand spanking new boxes of Crayola and told to have at it. All I am left with is laughter.

Alfredo
Alfredo

No, but I drvie through it on a regular basis and have actually walked through it twice in the last month to pick my car up at Woodard 's on Ross and it is what it is, an underpass. No amount of paint is going to change that.

locoDbag
locoDbag

Dear Sire, please tell me more of thy majesty's greatness, for i'm just a mere pleb.

WalkableDFW
WalkableDFW

No matter how conceptual, the point of renderings is to show how it will look. Otherwise, it is just semiotic bait and switch.

WalkableDFW
WalkableDFW

So I won't take those renderings of theoretical people merrily skipping under the overpass as literal.

busterkeaton
busterkeaton

If they do the first rendering by Koryn. They should have techno pumping out of a sound system and distribute ecstasy to everybody walking by...

Ghost F. Job
Ghost F. Job

Ok, here's a shot out of a cannon: Urban Disc Golf Course

I don't think the Ross underpass is the place for it though. I think that the underpass around 2722 st. Louis street is the place for it. Google map the address, then his the satellite button. It's close to Downtown, Deep Ellum, Dart, Farmers Market and the Santa Fe Trail.

Literally, it would change a wasteland of pigs-blood and kidney stones into a tropical land of rainbows and skittles. A whole DG course may cost less then some poop-factory art design that aesthetic exuberance rivals only that of a gorilla.

Ok, so here an estimate:

A mach III Champ Course runs just shy of $10k (see link)

http://www.discgolfassoc.com/c...

The best part is that I have not heard of an Urban Discgolf Course in the Texas/Joklahoma area so it may be a 1st.

Andrew Corey Howard
Andrew Corey Howard

austin did a good job.http://www.statesman.com/news/local/m...

Keep it simple people need light at night and shade during the day. no one wants to stop and hang out under the bridge or should we make it hospitable to such. To stitch deep ellum and downtown together we need to two way streets, narrow them and extend shade between them.

Juan Valdez
Juan Valdez

Where are the water taxis?

Guest
Guest

Yo, the water taxi comments are so 2007

Grumpy Demo
Grumpy Demo

"Shinny, pretty made by big 'name' artees" how can Dallas not resist.

Who's going to take care of the maintenance? Dallas couldn't take care either the nearby tree plantings or North Central landscaping.

Lee
Lee

Dallas had nothing to do with the plantings on North Central. They are, or were, the responsibility of TXDOT, not the City. Complain to your state legislator and state senator.

Grumpy Demo
Grumpy Demo

Sorry, Lee you need to brush up on your current events, TXDOXT transferred maintenance of the landscaping to the City of Dallas, Dallas forgot and let everything die, wasting millions.

Here's the story:

http://blogs.dallasobserver.co...

Coleman
Coleman

I actually really like Koryn Rolstad's submission.

Oak Cliff Townie
Oak Cliff Townie

Do we really need something Every where ?Its not art it becomes sight pollution.

Its a road under a bridge average travel time under three seconds . Who the heck is going to notice ?

And at night normal lighting would be nice.

Ellum08
Ellum08

The people that actually live in the neighborhood would like something that both lights the underpass and can be aesthetically pleasing when we walk to the Arts District.

Oak Cliff Townie
Oak Cliff Townie

The form a group gather some artist get permissions donations and have at it !

locoDbag
locoDbag

Dude, is that freedom rock? Then turn it up Man!

Kenforbes
Kenforbes

Let local artists create murals there. Done.

Milkman Dan
Milkman Dan

I seem to remember all of these "areteests" were based elsewhere outside of Dallas, no? I feel like we could have gone down to the Bridge and found several potential "gifted" people to provide their own vision...

Also, am I correct that the city will be distributing LSD or mushrooms to drivers passing underneath in order to create these visual effects?

Kmart1960
Kmart1960

All three are terrible. I've seen areas of Las Vegas that are less tacky.

KOnD
KOnD

Lame. Would create major automobile accidents on 75/45. Not very creative, either. Our local talent can do 100X better. Meh.

Stacy
Stacy

I'm sorry how in the hell would this create accidents on 75/45 when this is going to be UNDER the freeway

Cubzter
Cubzter

The installation in the first image clearly projects ABOVE the roadway so I think KOnD is suggesting that the big, illuminated, pick-up-stick thingies might cause drivers to be distracted.

locoDbag
locoDbag

Do you actually think those renderings are in any way aesthetically pleasing?

Coleman
Coleman

the first one is kinda cool.

Lee
Lee

Want to make an impression? Clean up the Elm Street Viaduct by Dealey Plaza first. It is a stinking open sewer right next to the throngs of tourists wandering around and taking pictures - and smelling the feces and urine that cover the sidewalk.

Robert Wilonsky
Robert Wilonsky

To quote Car-Free Kennedy's Twitter account: "Step 1: design mistake/ Step 2: cover up in planting/ Step 3: flood w/ lighting/ Step 4: Paint murals of happy ppl/ Step 5: admit mistake." Also: "Double rainbows are world class."

Follow: http://twitter.com/#!/Walkable...

moderndrift
moderndrift

Was one of the goals creating a triple rainbow?

How set in stone are these, can we send them back to the drawing board? That last one looks like it took 10 seconds and MS Paint.

OED_Denizen
OED_Denizen

Seriously, is this the best that was submitted?I kind of like the way it looks now better than these three choices!

WalkableDFW
WalkableDFW

I'd say I'm at a loss for words, but I'm not.

WalkableDFW
WalkableDFW

The only pedestrians that will "feel welcomed" are those tripping on acid.

Daniel
Daniel

Dallas needs more pedestrians tripping on acid in order to be a world-class city. God knows I've done my part.

MattL1
MattL1

Anything that gets some light under there is fine by me. If it happens to be aesthetically pleasing, that's just icing on the cake...

elbueno
elbueno

absolute crap. lipstick on a pig. just tear down that section of highway.

MattL1
MattL1

There's no need to tear it down. Just do what they did in Boston an put the sucker underground!

Now Trending

Dallas Concert Tickets

From the Vault

 

Loading...