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Over the past few weeks, every day seems to bring more murals popping up across Dallas. Each has its own origin story, whether plastered on plywood or at the graffiti art park Fabrication Yard. Some artists have made their messages impossible to ignore. Others want you to interpret their work yourself. Collectively, they tell the tale of Dallas’ resilience, propped up by pillars of community support. 

When businesses throughout Dallas began covering their broken windows after a night of protests turned violent on May 30, mural painter Isaac “IZK” Davies envisioned a way to connect the DFW art community with a sudden boom of blank canvases. “When everything was shut down and then the protests started happening, there was just like an extra layer of feeling the need to do art to activate some response,” Davies says. 

On June 1Davies created a Facebook group dubbed the Dallas Army of Artists. He invited other community leaders to serve as administrators for the page, including real estate developer Tanya Ragan. She would act as a liaison between the artists and businesses who might be persuaded to offer up a blank wall.

I joined a group called "Dallas army of artists" which was developed to help those affected by riots in Dallas. The entire group was made of various artists in the Dallas area who dedicated their time and creative efforts to spread a message of hope, unity, and community through beautiful murals that cover damaged storefronts through the metroplex.

My design incorporated bright colors to uplift the air and atmosphere as people walked by. Just like a rainbow or flowers in my head bright colors evoke positivity. Abstract shapes and flowers represent growth in many different directions. The message of "Speak Out" was in 3D lettering because I feel it emphasized the need for justice. The smallest part of the mural is a handmade butterfly I glued to the letters, symbolizing change, a new chapter and rebirth, a bitter sweet tribute to those who lost their lives. From this we grow!

Stop the violence, rioting... LOVE WINS

- Toni

You can see Toni's mural at Elm and Record street in the West End of downtown Dallas, and read the D Magazine coverage here. Also check out the Dallas Army of Artists Facebook Group