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Every year at the corner of Flora and Crockett in Dallas, on the grounds of the Cathedral Shrine of the Virgin of Guadalupe and just across from the Meyerson Symphony Center folks will find a new piece of art on display.  This revolving art is part of the Year on the Plaza art competition by The Catholic Foundation.

The Foundation has been displaying new art at this location for 10 years now and last month local artist Tanya Joiner Slate received the good news that her piece “Trinity River Origami” was chosen to be displayed on the 28-by-9-foot public art wall in The Catholic Foundation Plaza.

The Catholic Foundation hosts the competition each year to select artwork that will draw people into the space to view the art. The art is displayed for one year.

“Tanya Joiner Slate’s captivating mural portrays an inspiring message both to and about the city of Dallas,” said J. Matthew Kramer, President and CEO of The Catholic Foundation. “The heart of the Dallas Arts District is a perfect fit for the piece, and we congratulate Tanya for her talent and ability to create meaningful artwork for visitors of The Catholic Foundation Plaza to enjoy.”

Professional artists must be over the age of 18 and live in Texas to qualify. Each artist can submit one original work of art keeping the location of the Plaza in mind.  The artist’s description of the work does not have to be religious, but it must show its relation to the Plaza and Arts District.

This year the Foundation received around 30 submissions and a panel of highly-respected members of the local art community including Father Rudy Garcia, rector of the Cathedral Shrine of the Virgin of Guadalupe; Cindy M. Gummer, owner of The Enchanted Galleries and Katherine Wagner, CEO of the Business Council for the Arts reviewed the submissions and selected the winning piece.

Slates winning piece expresses the artist through mixed media images comprised of acrylic, paper and charcoal. Employing bold color and textured layers, “Trinity River Origami” explores various subject matters interjected with a sense of humor and hope, encouraging the viewer to seek a path of self-evaluation and personal empowerment.

Becoming an artist in the second chapter of her life, Slate said her paintings constitute a rediscovery of who she is and what she has to say.

“A colorful, dreamlike oasis in the heart of the city is what Trinity River Origami will bring to the Plaza and the Arts District,” Slate said adding that her piece was inspired “In celebration of one of the world’s most recognizable skylines and the river on which it sits.  I created this piece to honor Dallas’ resilience and strength in the face of whatever storms may come its way. As the clouds roll off to the East and the setting sun begins to cast a warm, vibrant glow over our beautiful city, the last remaining light of a rainbow arcing over “Big D” gives us hope and reminds us of God’s love and mercy which strengthens us, even if we sometimes feel like fragile boats made of paper attempting to navigate the swollen rivers of life.”

Ben Woitena’s piece entitled “Migration” was selected as an honorable mention in this year’s competition.

The winning pieces from previous years are displayed on plaques on either side of the art wall including a variety of mediums, styles and subject matter. 

The 3,900-square-foot Catholic Foundation Plaza was dedicated in 2006 as a gift from The Catholic Foundation to the Dallas community to commemorate the Foundation’s 50th anniversary.  

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