CRG Unveils Public Art Installation at Broadway Chapter in Fort Worth’s Near Southside Cultural District
North Texas-based artist Eric ‘Drigo’ Rodriguez completes one of the city’s largest public-facing murals for new 242-apartment development opening this month
FORT WORTH, TX – CRG, the real estate development and investment arm of Chicago-based Clayco, today announced a new public art installation gracing the facade of the five-story parking garage at Broadway Chapter, its recently completed multifamily development in Fort Worth’s Near Southside cultural district. The new-construction rental community with 242 apartments at 401 Hemphill St. will welcome its first residents in July.
CRG partnered with Near Southside’s ArtSouth to select and commission a mural from North Texas artist Eric ‘Drigo’ Rodriguez. The artist selection was driven from a community-led vetting process in February that resulted in 89 applications during the region’s historic ice storm. CRG supplied a $50,000 budget and worked closely with ArtSouth program administrators, who extended the application deadline and supported artists as many completed applications from their cars, warming centers and other public spaces available during the statewide power failures.
CRG worked with a selection committee consisting of Near Southside arts and cultural leaders, including architects, studio artists, gallerists, public artists and art education professionals. The vetting process yielded four finalists. According to the committee, Drigo was awarded the commission due to his immense talent and creativity and the important cultural voice he offers as a Latinx artist representing a historically marginalized community.
“We believe that art can inspire and enhance the daily living experience of our residents,” said Shawn Clark, president of CRG. “Our buildings are canvases and an important way for us to give back to the communities we join. We were delighted to work with Drigo and ArtSouth to create a vibrant artwork that resonates with the community.”
The 5,000-square-foot mural covers the southern facade of Broadway Chapter’s parking garage, visible from Peter Smith Street. Titled Cosmic Journey, the original work reflects the supportive spirit and positive evolution of the neighborhood.
“In so many ways, the Near Southside’s creative community is leading our district in exciting new directions, and Drigo’s mural at Broadway Chapter perfectly captures the neighborhood’s creative energy and personality,” said Mike Brennan, president of Near Southside, Inc., a nonprofit dedicated to revitalizing the Near Southside. “Art in general, and specifically this type of highly visible public art that we all engage with on a daily basis, plays such a major role in connecting our community and enhancing our shared experience living and working in such a great place. Drigo’s work and CRG’s partnership set a new standard for privately funded and publicly accessible art in Fort Worth.”
Drigo, a native of McKinney, Texas, has been painting for eight years. His figurative contemporary mural at Broadway Chapter depicts a colorful scene with tropical imagery that spans five massive concrete panels. Over a months-long time span, Drigo completed all of the work by hand — from priming the concrete panels, to sketching the large-scale work using a meticulous grid system, to painting the intricate design — using a mechanical lift supplied by CRG.
Intended to pay homage to the collaborative and friendly atmosphere the artist discovered in his first interaction with the Fort Worth community, the artwork is infused with imagery, some of which appears in previous works, that imbues positive energy and represents the diverse people and cultures found in the neighborhood.
“I’m honored to have this opportunity to collaborate with CRG and ArtSouth to bring this vision to life,” Drigo said. “Murals offer a special opportunity to spontaneously impact people’s lives, as anyone can walk by and not only enjoy the work, but also find inspiration in it. Near Southside is this melting pot kind of neighborhood, so I’ve used imagery of plants from all over the world and different cultures coming together. There’s always meaning within every element of my work, but I hope people find their own inspiration and interpretation for what it means to them.”
Drigo completed the mural in just under three months, partnering with friends and fellow artists Stephanie Cortes, Joshua Romero, Hatziel Flories and Will Harpham. Each supported Drigo through priming, sketch work, color fill and final detailing.
Fort Worth’s Near Southside cultural district is a walkable, mixed-use neighborhood located less than a mile from downtown. It boasts a vibrant arts and cultural scene, some of the city’s most celebrated restaurants, and a concentration of design-focused small businesses.
This installation is CRG’s third major art installation and second for its Chapter residential brand. The firm partnered with Chicago-based artist Brandin Hurley for a triptych interior art piece at its Upshore Chapter development in Chicago’s historic Uptown neighborhood. Elsewhere in Chicago, CRG partnered with artist Mauricio Ramirez for a mural at A.M. 1980, a rental community in the Bucktown neighborhood.
“These installations are really a dialogue with the community,” Clark said. “We want to be a part of the communities where we develop, and we hope these projects reflect the character and culture of each.”
The additional finalists for the Broadway Chapter mural were:
- Josef Kristofoletti: Kristofoletti is an internationally working mural artist, whose creations have appeared in several publications, including Wired, PBS NewsHour, The New York Times, The Guardian, Boston Globe, Fast Company and Symmetry Magazine.
- DAAS: Based in Austin, Texas, DAAS is an American contemporary artist internationally recognized for his vibrant, engaging paintings and murals, which utilize abstract and representational imagery.
- Christin Apodaca: Apodaca is an illustrator and muralist living and working in El Paso, Texas, who creates black-and-white line drawings that weave native plants and human existence into surreal, dreamlike compositions.
Chapter is CRG’s national collection of upscale apartments designed to provide spaces and experiences that help residents write their own life story with greater intention. Designed by Lamar Johnson Collaborative (LJC) and built by Dallas-based Cadence McShane Construction, Broadway Chapter offers studio, one- and two-bedroom apartments, including 15 one-bedroom lofts boasting 20-foot ceilings, as well as 4,500 square feet of indoor amenity space that houses a library, state-of-the-art fitness center with Peloton bicycles and a yoga area, and resident lounge with coffee bar. Outdoor amenities include a landscaped courtyard and sun deck with an infinity-edged swimming pool, in-pool loungers, grilling stations, dining areas, fire pit and terrace seating.
The spacious, open-plan apartment homes feature oversized windows with expansive views of downtown Fort Worth; wood-style plank flooring; chef’s kitchens with stainless steel appliances; bedrooms with large walk-in closets and custom shelving; full-size in-unit laundry; and private balconies per plan. Floor plans range in size from 547 to 1,195 square feet and are priced from $1,300 to $2,700 per month.
For leasing inquiries, prospective residents may contact the leasing team, Kairoi Residential, at (817) 415-1000 or [email protected], or visit the leasing office at 401 Hemphill St., which is open from 9:00 a.m. to 6:00 p.m. Mondays, Tuesdays, Thursdays and Fridays; 9:00 a.m. to 7:00 p.m. on Wednesdays; 10:00 a.m. to 6:00 p.m. on Saturdays; and 1:00 p.m. to 6:00 p.m. on Sundays. Prospects can also view property photos at www.broadwaychapter.com.
CRG is a privately held real estate development firm that has developed more than 9,000 acres of land and delivered over 200 million square feet of commercial, industrial, institutional and multifamily assets exceeding $12 billion in value. CRG leverages a powerful North American platform with local market expertise and offices in Atlanta, Chicago, St. Louis, Southern California, Phoenix and Philadelphia. CRG’s philosophy of developing for the future and anticipating the enhanced needs of next generation users led to the creation of its industrial brand, The Cubes, and its multifamily brand, Chapter. For more information, visit CRG’s website at www.realcrg.com.
LJC is a full-service design and architecture firm committed to enhancing the quality of the human experience and to improving how design and architecture can impact each individual’s emotional being. By harnessing the power of integrated design, including architecture, workplace strategy, interior design, landscape architecture, urban planning and engineering, the company achieves its clients’ goals and aspirations. For more information, please visit www.theljc.com.
About Cadence McShane Construction Company:
Cadence McShane Construction Company is the builder of choice in the state of Texas and its surrounding region, specializing in the Education, Multifamily, Senior Living, Commercial, and Industrial market sectors. As a highly-experienced provider of general construction, design- build, and construction management, Cadence McShane deploys a culture of relentless service with an entrepreneurial spirit that originates from the inside of each individual and helps constantly deliver reliable results of excellence. Since 1985, our dedication and commitment to this philosophy have built a solid foundation of expertise for everything we do. For additional information, visit the firm’s website at www.cadencemcshane.com.
About Art South:
Art South is an innovative public-facing art program of Near Southside Arts facilitating public-private partnerships to offer selected artists commission and exhibition opportunities in Fort Worth’s Near Southside district. Art South helps to connect and facilitate private art investment to public-facing calls for artists to broaden access to opportunity for artists within the community and elevate dialog about why arts investment matters and is beneficial.
About Near Southside, Inc.:
Near Southside, Inc. (NSI), a 501(c)4 flagship community organization widely recognized for its 25-year track record of progress, serves as the community captain steering economic and cultural initiatives benefiting Fort Worth’s 1,400 acre Near Southside district. Sister organization, Near Southside Arts (NSA), a 501(c)3 non-profit organization managed by NSI, is aligned in mission and governance with NSI and tasked with representing the Near Southside Cultural District that was formally designated in 2020 by the Texas Commission on the Arts. Both organizations share a 53-member board of directors, officers, and staff representing a cross-section of district stakeholders and community-minded leaders. Whether working toward complete streets, public parks, community events, historic restorations, urban villages, homes for eclectic local businesses, multi-purpose spaces, or anything with a “coming soon” sign, Near Southside, Inc. and Near Southside Arts collaborate with business owners and residents to usher progress within the neighborhood.
For over two decades, the Near Southside has placed cultural investment at the center of its revitalization. The district hosts arts-centric community events including ArtsGoggle, Open Streets, Friday on the Green, and Park(ing) Day that together attract over 100,000 attendees from around North Texas annually. In addition, the Near Southside district is home to many of Fort Worth’s notable theaters, live music venues, galleries, recording studios, film companies, chef-led restaurants and visual art schools. Info at www.nearsouthsidefw.org and www.nearsouthsidearts.org.