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Dallas-Fort Worth
Going high-brow, we noticed a trend: more works of art  across the sprawling Metroplex. What's up with all the pieces in courtyards and on the walls? And, when we tilt our head to the right a bit, how come some look a lot like that crystalline entity from Star Trek.
Good Fulton & Farrell Architects design principal David Farrell
Art can serve several different functions, well beyond a generic corporate art program, Good Fulton & Farrell Architects design principal David Farrell tells us. We photographed him with some of his own artwork displayed in his office lobby. David tells us the projects he designs aren't just filling wall space. “These are more intertwined and coordinated with the architecture of the building and the client's needs,” he says. Example: David's work for car dealers like Park Place Motors includes selecting art that reflects the sophisticated tastes of clients shopping for cars. “You want art that is warm and compelling. Even there, the environments have a hospitality feel, like a boutique hotel lobby,” he says.
West 7th
For the West 7th  project in Fort Worth, GFF created an outdoor living room at the center of the mixed-use property. The sculpture acts like furniture (though climbing on it requires agility, which we quickly learned we lack). Since that project has a close relationship with the Fort Worth Arts District and is near the modern  art, Kimbell and Amon Carter museums, “we wanted to select an artist that reflects the modern venues going on in that area. They're basic forms and very Calderesque,” David adds. For retail or mixed-use, art is practical because it attracts patrons. Restaurants love outdoor sculptures near dining because art is entertainment. “We do it for a theoretical reason and also a very practical one,” he says.
Trammell Crow Center in Dallas
We recently caught a quick shot of one of downtown's Trammell Crow Center sculptures. The garden plaza is filled with world-class sculpture. GFF's design principal says Dallas has historically been an air-conditioned environment, but outside artwork has become more prevalent. “We didn't have a lot of outdoor shopping or restaurants, but that has changed. Now, outdoor sculptures are enticing people to go outside,” David says. There's a move to being green and outside, so having spaces in and around buildings—like Fountain Place or One Arts Plaza— provides areas where office folks can congregate and have a cup of coffee on a nice fall day.
Hall Office Park's Craig Hall
The 162-acre Hall Office Park in Frisco is readily identifiable by the four-acre Texas Sculpture Garden, which sports a collection of  40 contemporary works by some of the state's most revered artists, Hall Financial Group chairman Craig Hall tells us. “Art is good for the soul. It nurtures the spirit and inspires the imagination. Art was a conceptual force that drove the design and master plan for the development,” he says. When the master plan for Hall Office Park was designed, several pieces were commissioned specifically for the park, like Dancers MM by Texas artist Jerry Daniel, Hall director of leasing Kim Vincent Butler  tells us.
Hall Office Park
Hall Office Park attracts decision-makers who have an appreciation for art, Kim says. With works installed in the lobbies of all 15 buildings, throughout the grounds, along walking trails, and around the park's lakes, tenant feedback is great, she says. “We believe the art is a key factor when businesses choose to locate here,” Kim tells us. The Frisco campus contains more than 200  pieces of art inside and out, including drawings, sketches, sculpture, paintings, glass art, and photography, she adds. Hall Office Park even offers tours in addition to the public viewing. The exterior collection is open daily from dawn to dusk; interior art is available for viewing from 8 a.m.-6 p.m. on weekdays and 9 a.m.-noon on Saturdays.
SCM Real Estate Gary Walker
Art is all around SCM Real Estate, literally. The firm renovated the original Vandergriff Chevrolet  building in Arlington to reflect the history of the building in its furnishings such as the Chevy hubcaps on the walls, SCM prez Gary Walker tells us. Joining other Arlington leaders to increase the emphasis on art in the city (think of the Arlington Art Museum and Levitt Pavilion), Gary showcases the talent of neighboring UTA student artists, too. The first-floor lobby and the vacant lot next door are available to display sculpture and paintings done by students in the Fine Arts department.