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Behind the Brushstroke: Steve Hunter

Every person who visits Deep Ellum is constantly dazzled by the hundreds of beautiful murals that can be found around every corner. On any given day in the neighborhood, dozens upon dozens of Instagram posts can be seen with a Deep Ellum mural gracing the frame. The murals of Deep Ellum are certainly part of what makes the neighborhood so vibrant and attractive to tourists and locals alike. 

Despite the mass appeal and popularity of muraling in Deep Ellum, many do not know the stories of the individuals whose talents are responsible for this beautification of the neighborhood’s myriad blank brick walls. The hope of this recurring feature is to put a name, face, and story behind the creatives who have changed the face of Deep Ellum with their brushes. 

Steve Hunter’s path to Dallas was less than typical. Born in Scotland, Steve worked as a muralist in the UK until a school in Oak Cliff reached out to him in 2004 asking if he would paint a mural on their campus. Although the offer was unusual for the UK-based artist, Steve agreed and took his first trip to America. After completing a handful of projects for the same school, Steve was offered the opportunity to become their art teacher and he accepted, becoming an official resident of Dallas. 

Although Steve treasured his time teaching, he knew a return to full-time muraling was what he wanted. So, in 2011, Steve launched Hunter Creates, his muraling business. Almost immediately, Steve was met with offers and opportunities to bring his murals to the masses. One of his first pieces was done in Deep Ellum inside Club Dada during its revival and reopening. After that, he was off to the races, with quite a few of his most popular murals landing in Deep Ellum, including two that were accepted as part of the 42 Murals project. 

After all the opportunities Steve has had over the past handful of years, when the pandemic hit American soil, he was anxious that his muraling days might be over as possibilities for artists and creatives began to shrink. Fortunately, Steve can count 2020 as one of his most successful years as a fulltime muralist with several new murals in Deep Ellum, including one commissioned for Ralph Lauren, many in the new Hamilton building, as well as a tribute to healthcare workers at Dot’s Hop House. 

With compelling projects on the horizon, Steve is looking forward to a bright future for himself and other Dallas artists in 2021. In the meantime, you may just see Steve fixing vandalized murals in Deep Ellum in an effort to add to and preserve the creative heart of Dallas!  


Instagram: @huntercreates

Deep Ellum Team
Author: Deep Ellum Team