DALLAS — What would your wings look like?

The city of Dallas, the Dallas Downtown Association and Dallas Arts Association would like to know.

The three organizations have launched a mural contest with age divisions from kindergarten through adults. The contest asks artists to submit a mural design based on the state motto, “She flies with her own wings.”

Winners of the contest, three from each of the four age divisions, will paint their designs on a wall in downtown Dallas.

Monica Johnson, the president of the arts association, said the groups have secured 12 walls where winners will paint their wings. Johnson said while the contest flyer has angel wings on it, there’s plenty of room to be creative with the theme.

“There are so many other wings that people don’t even think of,” Johnson said. “Butterflies, fairies, bees, dragons, angels, eagles — there are so many things on there, so people can be very, very creative.”

The age divisions are kindergarten through fifth grade; sixth grade through eighth grade; ninth through 12th grade; and adults.

Johnson said the idea took flight during a discussion between Dallas Economic Development Director AJ Foscoli and Norah Owings, the former DDA manager who now works with Travel Salem. They were talking about ways to attract visitors.

“They were talking about murals and how murals are a really creative way to bring people in and be interactive,” Johnson explained.

From there, Foscoli approached the DDA’s Eddie Nelson, who then contacted Johnson to see if the arts association wanted to be involved.

“Now we are working on getting artists involved by teaching classes or helping with a day of painting to help the kids or adults to get their paintings onto the walls,” Johnson said.

Artists have until March 29 to turn in their designs. Submissions need to be on canvas and turned into Dallas City Hall, 187 SE Court St., by 5 p.m.

“We have started receiving some submissions,” Johnson said. “We’ve been working with the schools. We have connections with the art teachers and the principals at some of the schools. We’ve had submissions from kids and adults and everything in between. It’s been really great to see the community come together and seeing those creative things that people come up with.”

After submissions have been turned in, the public is invited to vote for the winners starting on April 3. The winners will be announced at the May 6 Dallas City Council meeting. Sheila Pierce, Dallas’ recreation and events coordinator, said there are two ways to vote.

“You will be able to vote on our (city of Dallas) website and also we will have the paintings up, I think in the civic center so that you can come in and vote,” she said.

Johnson said the arts association will display all submissions at pop-up galleries at community events, such as the Art & Wine Walk in June and the festival formerly known as Summerfest in July.

The three organizations would like to make the contest annual, and possibly integrate themes so different artists can add to the murals already painted. This year, the murals will be located downtown, but Johnson said that may expand in future contests.

“We are hoping to work with Dallas High School to get something in different places or another school,” Johnson said.

Johnson is eager to see what younger artists create with the theme of wings.

“Just to see those little kids’ ideas of what their wings are going to look like, I think, is going to be really cool,” she said.

For more info: sheila.peirce@dallasor.gov.


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