New York-based artist, Dan Rizzie, is unveiling his design for the Dallas Farmers Market’s new logo, which pays tribute to Texas farmers, right this very minute. The ’80s contemporary art icon and Phillip Jones, President of the Dallas Convention & Visitors Bureau, are presenting it. This is a huge moment for the DFM, which is currently undergoing major renovations. Nancy has written about the DFM’s facelift extensively, so I won’t go into too much detail. All you need to know is that
1) This is a big deal and
2) Dan Rizzie is also a big deal.
Rizzie graduated with an MFA from SMU, and his roots are deeply planted in Dallas, even though he now lives far away. I caught up with him at CBD Provisions for lunch yesterday, and we discussed all the work that went into the Dallas Farmers Market’s new look. Here’s our short Q&A.
CS: What drew you to work on this project?
DR: The Farmers Market is so close to my heart. I’m not a commercial artist, I’m a client artist. I use the same principles to do a logo as I do a painting. I want it to be significant, I want it to be interesting, color-wise, shape, form, function. Like making a little round painting. I took it very seriously.
CS: How long did it take you?
DR: It took us quite a while. We spent a few months on it. We went through a lot of changes.
CS: How did you get involved with the project?
DR: Janet and Phil (Cobb) [managing partners] mentioned it to me a year or two ago. They’re friends. I’m flattered they wanted me to do this.
CS: What’s your history with Dallas?
DR: I grew up here. I started my business here, and it just so turns out that the Farmers Market was one of my favorite places. One of my best friends John Rector, who is now the president of Sigel’s, he and I used to get up every morning and run six miles. We would go down to the Farmers Market after that to have coffee and stuff, buy food, take it home, and cook it for that evening you know.
CS: Can you tell me what the Dallas Farmers Market was like when you first experienced it?
DR: I remember it as really kind of a very earthy, gritty, funky place. The first time I went there I not only didn’t know what a black-eyed pea was, but I’d never seen one before, much less know what one was. It was really great for me to go to a place that had stuff like that. It’s funny. Today it’s very fashionable to buy food from farmers markets and stuff. The thing that interests me about this project is that this leadership group is taking over the Dallas farmers market. I don’t think they are going to make it like it used to be; I think it’s going to be better. I think it’s going to be really great. What a fabulous place to live. I mean, if I was young again and coming to Dallas, I’d want to live down there. I mean what a great place to be, right in the middle of town. You’ve got green spaces around you. You’ve got this market that you know is really about the earth. It’s also so much nicer than going into a grocery store.
CS:What can you tell me about your vision for the new DFM?
DR: It’s going to still be the DFM, but what interests me.. I don’t think it’s going to just get a facelift, I think it’s going to be a different place. Right now if you go down there, it doesn’t have a clarity to it that it should. There’s a lot of extraneous pipes and rafters and stuff. I’d like to see it cleaned up to where vendors can display their wares. I’d like to see a continuity.
Sadly, I thought over the past few years, the place was starting to look a little run-down, and all that’s going to change. It’s going to be a vibrant, new place again. I think it’s going to be newer, brighter, cheerful, and uplifting.