Saturday, May 25, 2013

El Rey de Oak Cliff

My neighborhood of Oak Cliff in Dallas, Texas, has long been ignored by the larger city government in favor of more, or actually less diversified, tony areas in terms of (positive) development and infrastructure. That has started to change over the past few years in no small part due to the actions of activists like Jason Roberts.

Jason's accomplishments are listed as being a father of two young children, he ran for Congress in 2011, founded Better Block - which helps communities rehabilitate underused spaces, started Bike Friendly Oak Cliff to encourage biking in his neighborhood, co-founded Art Conspiracy which brings artists together to raise money for non-profits, started the Oak Cliff Transit Authority in an effort to bring street cars back to Oak Cliff and served as the lead singer and guitarist in The Happy Bullets.

While improving our neighborhood Jason battled cancer and won. His medical bills are still substantial, though, so the Kessler Theater, a former movie theater fallen to ruin and reborn as a popular music venue, is having a music and art event to help raise money. I was invited to contribute a piece for the art auction and so here is my humble way to try and help out a good guy.

"El Reyna de Oak Cliff", 10 by 8 inches, acrylic on canvas.

Roosters were once ubiquitous in Oak Cliff, but a few years ago were made illegal. One can still have chickens if they're "properly" contained, but not roosters. Makes for quieter mornings I guess, but some of the neighborhood's funk and originality is missing as a result.

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