Launched in 1988, DART’s award-winning Station Art & Design Program makes the community a canvas, brightening the DART Service Area with beautiful works of public art. The program takes an ordinary public transit facility – and makes it extraordinary! With the opening of Hidden Ridge Station Monday in Irving, DART has added to its growing gallery.
At Hidden Ridge, the station’s art and design plays off the land’s history. Legendary Texas businessman John W. Carpenter purchased the land – Hackberry Creek Ranch – in 1928. His wife, Flossie Belle Carpenter, nicknamed the property “El Ranchito de Las Colinas” – or the “Little Ranch in the Hills.” Their son Ben and his family then spent decades transforming the once 8,000-acre spread of grass and mesquite trees northwest of Dallas into Las Colinas.
Inspired by this unique history, ceramic artist and Professor Emerita of Art Marty Ray had been commissioned by the community to develop a concept for the station’s art that tells this story.
As with other station art projects, the individual elements – the station canopies, columns, platform paving, landscaping and more – all work together to support the artist’s central theme. From windscreens and seating to planters and retaining walls, a station’s artistic elements must first and foremost satisfy a rider’s basic needs. Landscaping along the platform, for example, not only enhances the station’s appearance – it also provides riders protection from the elements.
At Hidden Ridge Station, a series of windscreens reveals a historical trail of the land using photography and accompanying text. Ray hoped to give riders a sense of the ranch’s past – of the people that once lived and worked here rustling cattle and baling hay – while also preserving a part of the Carpenter family legacy.
Hidden Ridge follows the guiding principles used on other Orange Line stations, such as mirroring materials found throughout the Las Colinas development, as well as using common materials and colors. As with other Orange Line stations, Hidden Ridge Station incorporates limestone and Texas pink granite into the design. In this case, the stone cladding of the columns is rustic limestone with Texas pink granite bases. The station columns feature bas-relief artwork cast in stone which speak to work and life on the ranch, including images of cattle, rolling hills, trees and more.
The pavement design reflects the curved lines of the rolling hills and flowing creek near the station. Meanwhile, the landscaping includes native trees and grasses.
Of course, pulling together an art installation such as this took the work of more than just one person. From the initial planning to the finished product, an art and design project represents the work of many collaborators – the station artist, architects, engineers, designers, planners, DART representatives and, most importantly, the community. Each station is designed to truly reflect the people it serves.
In the end, DART’s Station Art & Design Program makes art accessible to everyone. You don’t have to go to a museum or a gallery – DART brings the art to you!
Hear more about Marty Ray’s concept from the artist herself. Watch this interview!