Programs & Initiatives


A special art program at Thanks-Giving Square celebrates the diverse cultural makeup of the North Texas community with a large commissioned mural.

Program Description

In the summer of 2019 a selection committee representing The Thanks-Giving Foundation identified a location for a large artist’s canvas on a 55-foot-wide concrete wall at the western end of Thanks-Giving Square. The intent of this project was to transform space and engage the public through a new place-based work. Artists living within 20 miles of Dallas were invited to submit ideas around a theme of “Highlight the Good” that emphasized benefits that result from the diverse cultural makeup of our community. The open call to artists resulted in over 10 unique, creative concepts which were reviewed by the selection committee.

Artist J.D. Moore’s design was selected, and he painted the mural on-site over a course of several weeks in November. The mural was unveiled to the public with a special Month of Gratitude celebration On November 16, 2019.

The project provided excitement for the community, reinforced the role of The Thanks-Giving Foundation as an important contributor to the Dallas arts scene, and brought traffic to the Square, neighboring businesses, and the downtown district.

The mural is expected to remain on display for up to one year at Thanks-Giving Square.

Mural Theme

Concept Sketch
Initial Concept Sketch

The theme for Thanks-Giving Square’s mural project is “Highlight the Good,” which emphasizes the benefits that result from the diverse cultural makeup of our North Texas community. A selection committee representing The Thanks-Giving Foundation requested a positive piece celebrating the best in humankind. The artist was asked to interpret and express this theme in the mural while considering its relationship alongside the Golden Rule mosaic by Norman Rockwell, one of the most important artistic statements on diversity ever expressed.

“My interpretation of this theme is that while we are all unique in our differences, we are also very much alike. Both our differences and similarities are equally valuable and should be recognized. As it starts on the right, the design highlights our similarities. Three rows of portraits begin as gold rings (meant to mimic the nearby Ring of Thanks). This simple shape represents the basics, the building blocks of what we all share: bones, blood, the need to eat, entitlement to human rights, and more. The piece, represented by 35 portraits, starts to highlight our increasingly complex and diverse uniqueness as it moves to the left. All of the faces in the piece are oriented towards the Golden Rule mosaic in a gesture of solidarity with that iconic work and what it represents.” (Artist J.D. Moore)

The Artist

J.D. Moore in front of mural
Artist J.D. Moore. Photo by Amanda Jackson

Born and raised in Dallas, Texas, James Douglas Moore III, commonly known as “J.D.”, has been creating art since elementary school. Since graduating from Rowlett High School in 2010, JD has been making a name for himself in the Dallas area and he has no intention of stopping there. Recently he has been featured in various gallery shows in the Dallas area including but not limited to the Lawley Art Group Gallery, the Craighead Green Gallery, Blue House Too Gallery, the H. Paxton Moore Gallery, and the Latino and South Dallas Cultural Centers. In 2017 JD was featured in the February issue of The Plano Profile Magazine, now Local Profile. In 2019 JD illustrated their March cover, the Celebrating Diversity issue. The artwork would go on to serve as inspiration for this mural.

Project Partner

This project was made possible thanks to the generous support of the Jean Baptiste (Tad) Adoue III Fund of The Dallas Foundation.

Image Gallery

ART AT THANKs-giving Square

Interested in learning about more about the artwork at Thanks-Giving Square? Check out our Art Guide.

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