Deep Ellum’s Immersive Art Scene
Find out why Deep Ellum enjoys a reputation for being a premiere destination for independent artists and patrons of their work. Learn about the neighborhood’s history and how it remains an integral part of the Dallas experience.
Originally called “Deep Elm,” the famous Dallas neighborhood of Deep Ellum has undergone a number of significant economic and industrial changes throughout the 20th and 21st century. One characteristic of the neighborhood, however, remains the same: It thrives on its deep appreciation and support of local artists.
As rich in history as it is in oil paints, Deep Ellum holds a number of important distinctions that sets it apart from other areas of Dallas. In the early 20th century, the neighborhood enjoyed a boom in industrial development and was the go-to destination for blues and jazz musicians to perform. Impressed with its ability to appreciate and nurture creativity, these artists would often sing its praises. This incredible neighborhood has branched out to encompass the hopes, dreams, and talents of national, as well as local, artists, and it could be considered Dallas’ very own answer to Austin.
The art scene in Deep Ellum has always been explosive and provocative, and it should come as no surprise that its galleries actively support artists. As one of the state’s beloved cooperative galleries, 500X provides special insight into the work of creatives who live and work in the neighborhood and are invested in the cooperative. Kettle Gallery exemplifies the do-it-yourself credo of the independent creative by being operated by artists to showcase the very best in talent that North Texas has to offer. If you’re a fan of contemporary and experimental art, consider having awe wash over you at the Umbrella Gallery. Enjoy exploring the roots of this homegrown art by participating in one of the wine walks offered in the neighborhood, such as those leading to and from the aptly-named Vineyard Art Gallery.
Deep Ellum Arts Festival is an absolute treat for those who appreciate visual and performing artists. Whether you want to lose yourself in music or take part in an interactive street performance, this arts festival has a way of singing a siren song to art lovers. Feel free to support local artists by picking up pieces for sale during the festival. Music lovers witness the neighborhood transform into a melodic utopia when the So What? music festival showcases a large number of bands in venues across the neighborhood. For those who enjoy libations along with a sprightly musical atmosphere, the Labor of Love Homebrew Festival offers a spectacle with tunes. True to form, the festival celebrates the creativity and craftsmanship of local brewers.
Much like their visual artist counterparts, many comedians and actors call Deep Ellum home. As a visitor, you won’t have to go far to find creatives who prefer the stage to the canvas. The Dallas Comedy House acts as a veritable laugh factory, while the legendary Undermain Theater allows patrons to get a taste of Southern-fried acting chops. While making your way to the nearest stage, tour the heart of Deep Ellum by walking through streets and taking in the sights of the neighborhood’s famous 42 murals.