Duncanville Feed Becomes Site of Art Project

feedstoreDUNCANVILLE, TX – If you are currently driving or walking by the Duncanville Feed store, you may be surprised at its festive décor. Greeted by a “Merry Sithmas” image, you will also see Chewbacca with antlers holding up a giant candy cane; Yoda wearing a holiday stocking cap, grinning; a death star ornament sporting a red bow; a Storm Trooper celebrating the holiday at an outpost; the Star Wars music theme in notes, underscored with a children’s Christmas song, against a starry sky; Jar-Jar with a can of spray paint that could double for R2D2; women protagonists including Rey and the new female droid—all looking decidedly heroic; and a double Chewbacca in a style resembling work by Andy Warhol.
What led to such images on the Feed store wall? A thirty-day community art project was initiated by the Duncanville Design Studio, a group concerned with promoting beautification, creativity, and community good will in Duncanville. Options Real Estate stepped in to fund the project and offered a vacant office space at Main Station, used as a “Pop-Up Gallery” this summer, for painting and storing the plywood panels in the art installation. Collaboration was paramount in the project, which supported the December 4 Duncanville parade, with its theme of Star Wars.
Local artists Anne Perry (who teaches at the Art Institute of Dallas), Tim Perry (designer and videographer), Daniel Flores (of Options Real Estate), and Steve Bayless (with the First Presbyterian Church) joined forces with Art Institute students Christian Cassanova, Mario Amaya, Rigo Amador, Silmar Moreno, and Noah Winston to create the various images. Josiah Browning, a local homeschooled high school student, also came to help prepare the plywood “canvases.” Timothy Hamilton of the Parks and Recreation Department and Greg Contreras of the Public Works Department reviewed and approved the images on behalf of the city of Duncanville. Daniel Flores and Ken Weaver did the physical work of moving and installing the panels. And of course, Marshall and Aura Howard of the Feed store were receptive to having the artwork placed on its exterior wall facing Main Street.
Steve Bayless coordinated his panel with the parade float he and other volunteers constructed, sponsored by First Presbyterian Church, and he arranged a Christmas song, “Beneath a Shining Star,” that the children, youth, and adults on the float could sing, woven together with the title theme from Star Wars. He estimates he spent over 20 hours on the panel alone. Tim Perry put in at least 22 hours on his piece, “Storm Trooper’s Holiday at the Outpost.”
“Much hard work went into the project—more than meets the eye, generally,” comments Anne Perry, who helped to coordinate its various phases. “We were so grateful to Monte Anderson and to all of our artists and helpers for making it possible. We feel we are participating in and engendering a kind of cultural renaissance in Duncanville.”
Perry also notes, “At one point I realized that all of the imagery being created was related to male Star Wars characters—none female. So my husband and I created a photo collage of the women—an important representation!”
What’s next for the “gallery” on the Feed store wall? “We hope to propose a seasonal art challenge, so that other artists might put their work up,” says Perry. “Otherwise, the wall will look very bare once the holiday work is taken down.”
For more information, see the Duncanville Design Studio Facebook page at facebook.com/designingDVILLE or contact Anne Perry at unity9@sbcglobal.net.