History

See the Larger than Life Traveling Man: Statues Symbolic of One Texas Neighborhood

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Many neighborhoods have murals with a certain symbolic meaning to the area. One Dallas neighborhood is making headlines for its gigantic Traveling Man statues representing the railway history of Deep Elum. The artist behind these larger than life artistic creations is Brad Oldham, who has brought out the beauty and vivid stories of these colossal statues as each evokes its own artistic expression to the area.

Each statue is unique in its striking poses created out of polished metal sheets put together with rivets. They unfold an interesting tale as you move from one to the other. As you stroll down Good Latimer Street between Swiss Avenue and Miranda, you will discover three impressive and distinctly different version of the Traveling Man along his journey.

1. Awakening

See the Larger than Life Traveling Man: Statues Symbolic of One Texas Neighborhood

Photo: Flickr/Steve Rainwater

Like any story, there is a beginning leading to a middle and eventually an end. In the case of the Traveling Man, we begin his journey with a statue titled Awakening.

Here we find him sort of emerging from the ground with only a portion of his head along with one of his clamps showing, as the watchful eye of a songbird gazes on. In the mythology of this artistic creation, the Traveling Man started his existence as a train buried under a tree. Gin splashed on the tree roots and magically resulted in the Traveling Man’s emergence from the earth.

2. Waiting on the Train

See the Larger than Life Traveling Man: Statues Symbolic of One Texas Neighborhood

Photo: Flickr/Steve Rainwater

As you travel along the avenue you come upon the Traveling Man sitting in an ever so subtle pose strumming his guitar. He gazes on as if he is Waiting on the Train, which happens to be the title of this second statue.

He is situated alongside a salvaged piece of debris “from one of Deep Ellum’s old rail tunnels,” shared Atlas Obscura. It’s an impressive display of artistic talent from the creative mind of Oldham. The attention to detail from his smile to his perfectly crossed legs invites you into another world during which the railway had deep roots among the neighborhood.

3. Walking Tall

See the Larger than Life Traveling Man: Statues Symbolic of One Texas Neighborhood
Photo: Flickr/Steve Rainwater

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