Mural Of Lee Harvey Oswald In Bishop Arts Is A Reminder, Not Homage, Shop Owner Says | KERA News

Mural Of Lee Harvey Oswald In Bishop Arts Is A Reminder, Not Homage, Shop Owner Says

Aug 29, 2016

Five stories that have North Texas talking: A new mural of Oak Cliff’s most infamous killer wasn’t meant to be offensive; There’s just over a month between you and award-winning fried Jell-O; Wylie’s the best small city for families; and more.

A nearly two-story mural of Lee Harvey Oswald in Dallas’ Bishop Arts District has (unsurprisingly) drawn some scrutiny recently. The painting inspired by Oswald’s black-and-white mug shot from the day after he killed President John F. Kennedy adorns the facade of Members Only, a barbershop at Seventh and Madison, about a block from where Oswald used to live, according to D Magazine.

Shop owner Christian Avanti, who commissioned the piece from artist Ponchaveli, says the mural isn’t an homage to Oswald, according to The Associated Press. Rather, the image is meant to reflect the neighborhood's history. One of the finishing touches on the mural was the JFK quote “Forgive your enemies but never forget their names."

It’s not the only reminder of Oswald in Oak Cliff. D Magazine added: “No one blinks at a bar in the Cedars bearing Lee Harvey Oswald’s name. The Texas Theatre, where Oswald was arrested hours after killing the president, of course has its share of decorative photos related to the events of Nov. 22, 1963. Take a 15-minute walk north of this new mural, and you can see Oswald’s old rooming house.”


However, the new addition has people questioning its place in the neighborhood, which is home to several murals. Bishop Arts District Merchants Association says what property owners choose to paint on their buildings is up to them, AP reported. [The Associated Press, Dallas Advocate, D Magazine, KXAS]


  • Between “Best Taste” and “Most Creative,” which would you guess fried Jell-O won? This year’s most buzzed about State Fair of Texas concoction won for taste at the annual Big Tex Choice Awards on Sunday. The State Fair Cookie Fries won for creativity. Both dishes were submitted by longtime fair folk. Ruth Hauntz, a concessionaire at the fair for 28 years, created fried Jell-O, and the cookie fries were made by Isaac Rousso, who's been a Big Tex finalist for the past seven years, Dallas CultureMap reported. Guess you’ll have to be the ultimate judge come Sept. 30. [Dallas CultureMap]
  • A federal district judge dismissed a lawsuit filed by a Dallas nonprofit that argued the city maintained segregated neighborhoods. In June 2015, the U.S. Supreme Court allowed a lawsuit filed years ago by the Inclusive Communities Project to move forward. But on Friday, a federal judge dismissed it. The Texas Tribune reported: “ICP, a nonprofit devoted to fair housing issues, argued that the state doled out tax credits in Dallas in a way that packed minorities into poor neighborhoods and spared white neighborhoods from development of low-income housing.” ICP could not prove the state enforced a “specific policy” to discriminate and keep the neighborhoods segregated. [The Texas Tribune]
  • Wylie is the best small city in America for families. NerdWallet, a personal finance website, analyzed recent data from the U.S. Census Bureau, GreatSchools and NeighborhoodScout for 245 places in the U.S. with populations from 25,000 to 100,000. They measured home value and affordability, average income and other factors families consider in a place to live. Wylie, a city of 44,000, located 30 miles northeast of Dallas succeeded because of high median income and school quality. In fact, Texas suburbs of Dallas, Austin and Houston took the majority of the top 10. Explore the study.


  • Legendary Mexican singer-songwriter Juan Gabriel died Sunday. Lovingly called the “divo of Juarez,” the 66-year-old “transcended borders and the trappings of gender with meticulously crafted pop songs and a flamboyant showmanship,” NPR said. He was a prolific musician,  recording more than 30 studio albums and selling more than 20 million records, according to El Paso Times. Gabriel was scheduled to play in El Paso Sunday night and in Dallas on Sept. 18. [NPR, El Paso Times]