Major Projects: DART Baylor StationIn 2002, I was commissioned to work on the art and design for the DART (light rail) station at Baylor Hospital near downtown Dallas. Seven years later, in September of 2009, the station opened to the public. DART commissions an artist to work with the architects and engineers in the development of the theme of each station. The Baylor station is unique in a couple of ways. First, the project includes the design for a two acre park alongside the station. Additionally, this station divides two very different neighborhoods - with Baylor Hospital (a Christian ministry of healing) on one side, and the eccentric and historic entertainment district, Deep Ellum, on the other. The theme for the station is "On the Pulse". To read the Artistic Value Statement for the DART Baylor Station, click here.
DART BAYLOR STATION OPENING WEEK, September 2009Click here to see a slideshow of photos from the opening. Or click on a thumbnail below. ^ back to top of page
FingerprintThe giant fingerprint (imprint) is the connection to the pulse, to the creative core, the heartbeat of vitality. It is engagement with life. It is approximately 45 feet in diameter, and will be fabricated out of stones and mosaic tiles by mosaic artist Xavier Zamarripa and his team.
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WindscreensOriginally, the 14 windscreens were to honor people "on the pulse" who've made a unique contribution to the history of the Baylor and Deep Ellum neighborhoods. That concept has changed a bit. The windscreens now deal with broader subjects - the history of the blues in Deep Ellum, art, entertainment in Deep Ellum, faith, research, caregivers, the history of Baylor. Each piece of art is a collage of images, informative text, historic photographs, and quotes.
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There are five paths leading into and away from the "core", or the "pulse". The five paths signify the five sensesthe means through which we create, express, transform, learn, and teach. The sensory signals in the art in the sidewalk mosaics cue visitors to each of the senses. Each mosaic is 5 ft. x 5 ft. and will be fabricated of Italian tiles by mosaic artist Xavier Zamarripa and his team.
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Artistic Value StatementON THE PULSE
Karen Blessen The two passionate and creative neighborhoods of Baylor and Deep Ellum come together at the Baylor DART station. Baylor Hospital, founded as a Christian ministry of healing, has repeatedly been recognized by US News as one of the country's best hospitals. Say Baylor and one thinks of world class doctors, researchers, sports physicians, surgeons, theologians, and schools. The Baylor mission is "to serve all people through exemplary health care, education, research and community service." Deep Ellum, on the other hand, conjures up images of legendary Texas musicians, cutting edge artists, clubs, nightlife, tattoo parlors, restaurants, small business, and urban living. Deep Ellum began as an African American neighborhood, and was the home of black vaudeville, black owned clubs, and renowned blues musicians such as Blind Lemon Jefferson. The two neighborhoods have a shared history and have co-existed since their inception. Each neighborhood has stayed close to it's original mission. Baylor was and is a center of health and healing. Deep Ellum remains an urban draw where people come for entertainment and cultural enrichment. That being said, how do we champion the differences yet celebrate the common ground between the creative people who will walk in every direction to and from the Baylor DART station? Inside the walls of Baylor are doctors, pastors, surgeons and researchers who are literally on the pulse of life and death issues. "On the pulse" takes on somewhat different meaning in Deep Ellum. The vitality of the artists, musicians, chefs, and club owners gives us opportunity to experience the direct connection between life experience and life expression. Baylor and Deep Ellum are simultaneously on the pulse and at the cutting edge. How does the DART station and plaza express this? Simply put, it's a map of the creative process. The giant fingerprint (imprint) is the connection to the pulse, to the creative core, the heartbeat of vitality. It is engagement with life. There are five paths leading into and away from the "core", or the "pulse". The five paths signify the five sensesthe means through which we create, express, transform, learn, and teach. The sensory signals in the art in the sidewalks cue visitors to each of the senses. The streeet grids of the Baylor and Deep Ellum neighborhood converge at the plaza and are continued into the garden areas. From above, the grids look like a quilt. The grids could also be interpreted as the orderly structures introduced to the organic creative process. The tension of the opposing grids is accepted. The garden and plaza become at various times (and for different people) a transformative walk, a play area and retreat for friends and relatives of patients at Baylor Hospital, shelter for those waiting for a DART train, a place for restoration and meditation, and an attunement to senses, nature, and spirit. At the station platform, the columns that support the canopies are a three dimensional collage of elements from Baylor and Deep Ellum. In the basic fluted column shape, we find reference to the original Baylor Hospital columns. The surface of the column erodes to reveal brick material that refers to Deep Ellum . The sculpture of the hands releasing the heart is taken from one of the reliefs by Pierre Van Parys Bourdelle and Jose Martin that was installed at the A. Webbs Robert Center. This depicts the moment at the final stage of the creative process when the creative heart is set free and released to the world. The 14 windscreens honor people "on the pulse" who've made a unique contribution to the history of the Baylor and Deep Ellum neighborhoods. Each piece of art will be a collage of portrait, informative text, historic photographs, and quotes from the subject. The diverse disciplines of medicine, theology, music, art, and business stewardship begin at the same place - the pulse, the heartbeat, the engagement with life. At the Baylor DART station, doctors, pastors, and researchers will cross paths with artists, musicians, and nightclub owners, and on every pass through, will be reminded of the life that they work to save, heal, express, relish, and celebrate. ^ back to top of page
CONTENTS:: Photos from Opening Week
:: Artistic Value Statement
MAJOR PROJECTSSpecial Section:
:: One Bullet
:: Faces of a Plague
:: Hyatt Regency Wall Sculptures
:: Today Marks the Beginning
:: Times Square
:: DART - Baylor Station
:: Love Field Sidewalk Proposal
:: Peace One Day
:: Be an Angel
:: Red Cross Blood Museum
:: Dallas Animal Shelter
KarenBlessen.com. Artist and writer. Cut paper collages, illustrations,
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copyright Karen Blessen unless otherwise noted.