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North Lake's Ray steps back in history for DART art

Posted by Greg Tepper on

IRVING –In a lobby at North Lake College, Marty Ray looks on fondly as passersby admire her work. The audience is small at the school, where the ceramics and sculpture teacher has called home for 30 years, but it’s safe to say her latest work will reach a far broader audience soon. Ray recently unveiled her art designs for the Carpenter Ranch Station, a stop on DART’s future Orange Line that will stretch through Irving.

The new rail line isn’t expected to open until 2012, but that didn’t stop Ray from jumping at the chance to design the art in one of the stations.

“The DART people contacted North Lake art processors and asked if any of us would like to be involved with the art designs for the stations,” Ray said. “So I sent an e-mail back, because I thought it would be to be on a committee about it.” 

But the transit authority’s intention was not to make Ray and her colleague Chris Fulmer mere participants; they were to be the centers of attention.

“They saw my work and Chris’ work and decided to invite us to be artists for the Carpenter Ranch and North Lake stations,” Ray said.

After deciding which art teacher would assume responsibilities for which station – “a coin flip”, she called it – Ray began collaborating with a committee of community members to determine the design of the station.

“We met three times,” Ray said. “I worked with the committee to hear what they thought would be important for the Carpenter Ranch Station. Immediately, it was history. History was the thing.”

And history abounds in Ray’s designs, capturing the ranch that defined most of Irving for decades. From the windscreens – seven in total, with pictures from the Carpenter family’s scrapbook that trace the history back to 1928 – to the column designs – ranch life on one, animal life on the other – the station designs embody the entirety of the Carpenter Ranch area.

The design, though, was not without its struggles.

“For me, because I don’t have the background in architecture, finally deciding what to do with the columns was the most difficult part,” Ray said. “You look at this and you say ‘Oh, there’s a column.’ But I had to come up with how to do the column.”

The station is not scheduled to open for another two years at least, but Ray said she can already visualize part of the station.

“When I go there, and it’s up and the designs are there, I’m just going to love it,” Ray said. “I’m going to be proud. I’m proud before it’s even up.”



Editor's note: for interviews, photo opportunities and media support, please contact Andrea Ciminelli, marketing and advertising coordinator, at 972-273-3005, or the North Lake College Public Information Office, 972-273-3004.

North Lake College is a member of the Dallas County Community College system. Educational opportunities are offered by the Dallas County Community College system without regard to race, color, age, national origin, religion, sex or sexual orientation.