DALLAS (CBSDFW.COM) – Instagram-worthy art is popping up in more and more public spaces across North Texas.
Look closely, and you may see a trend: many of the pieces are the work of Dallas-based artist Kyle Steed, who is leaving his mark and message from rooftops to building sides.
From black and white doodles, to colorful, cubist style paintings, the mural-sized art pieces are showing up in public places in Dallas and Fort Worth.
“Whether or not we know it, when we pass a piece on the street I think it affects us,” says Steed.
Walk by his artwork, and Steed hopes, you’ll take away more than a pretty picture.
“I think people spend too much time looking for inspiration,” he says.
With many of his creations, Steed says, the inspiration finds him.
“We use our hands every day for things. I think using them for strength and for unity is just a really important message,” Steed says.
For example, the 100-foot mural on the roof of the Plaza of the Americas building in Downtown Dallas taps into the unity Steed felt in Dallas after the July 2016 ambush on police.
“After hearing Chief [David] Brown talk, it really kind of influenced and affected me. He had such a positive way of saying let’s unify, let’s come together,” Steed says.
His expressions start with pencil and paper at the desk of his studio in Oak Cliff. Steed never went to art school; he is self-taught. He’s been drawing and painting as long as he can remember.
Steed grew up in Alabama, moved first to Nashville and then Fort Worth. He served in the US Air Force, and has been back in North Texas since 2007.
In the last five years, his aesthetic has drawn more attention.
Brands are calling for collaborations. Small businesses and cities are all commissioning his work.
A recent mural is up over the bar at the soon-to-open Sixty Vines restaurant at the Crescent.
You can find another mural on the Trinity Strand Trail, depicting a play on the words of President John F. Kennedy.
A smaller project: a garage door behind Davis Street Espresso in Oak Cliff.
The back of the landmark waterfall billboard at Stemmons Freeway also features his work, as does the inside of the parking garage at West Bend in Fort Worth.
Steed sees North Texas as supportive of these large-scale projects.
“People working for the city want to see more color and vibrancy added. Not just a blank wall. Not just putting up an advertisement. So, that’s encouraging,” Steed says.
Like the organic shapes that move across his canvas, he sees public art — and his own art — as constant evolution.
“You have a chance, a voice to say something. Why not use it to say something positive?”