At the southwest corner of Good Latimer and Gaston Avenues, The Traveling Man is leaning against a concrete artifact, waiting on a train, and strumming his unique guitar as his bird friends look on. This location helps frame the Deep Ellum Rail Station as it is across from The Traveling Man-Walking Tall sculpture, providing a gateway entrance to the neighborhood. In this pose, The Traveling Man shows that he’s an artist giving birth to his spirit. The birds surrounding him also represent the souls of the other artists, musicians, entrepreneurs, and fellow travelers who have passed through or will become part of the Deep Ellum community. Rather than a brash street artist performing for money, The Traveling Man is simply practicing his music and hanging out with friends for the sake of enjoyment. He has a “Huck Finn” quality to him that naturally invites people to join in. The circular shape of the guitar body resembles the core of his own body, asking viewers to believe that his music comes from his heart. His head is tilted to the side as he listens to his instrument and smiles.
Visitors and residents can imagine what kind of music is made from this unusual instrument, which looks as if it came out of him. The Traveling Man is so approachable in this installation that kids often climb onto his lap, and he’s sturdy enough to accommodate such visitors. When the tunnel entrance to Deep Ellum was torn down, a 15,000-pound portion of the bridge was rescued and incorporated into this sculpture, providing a place for The Traveling Man to rest. This installation is very near where the tunnels stood. The artifact is positioned on site to create a tall bench. By sitting on this “bench,” viewers can look into the heart of Deep Ellum. The artifact links the old and the new neighborhood gateway in a very tangible manner.
The 9-foot-tall sculpture sits on a concrete pad. The internal construction of The Traveling Manis structural steel while the exterior is brushed stainless steel held together with thousands of stainless steel monobolt rivets. Four stainless steel birds are included in this installation. These 42-inch-tall sculptures are cast in 304 stainless steel and polished to a mirror finish. The scooped back creates a perfect place for visitors to perch. To keep The Traveling Man aglow, freestanding LED lighting is on the ground, encased in custom stainless steel boxes to match the sculpture. The site is finished out with hand-stained concrete and Cherokee rock.