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Pixel Art Mosaics Invade North Texas

Video games IRL.

I spend a lot of time playing video games, but when I started seeing images from the games I love around my part of town, I was a little freaked out. First, I saw a Creeper from Minecraft staring back at me on my drive to work, and then later happened upon a Pooka from Dig Dug. With a bit more poking around, I was able to find five little mosaics in Keller and Fort Worth that someone has installed in public areas – presumably without any sort of city funding or consent.

These little tableaus are unlikely to be publicly funded since the five I’ve found are located in two different cities. There’s enough trouble getting things done in government without two cities collaborating on a cute little artistic project like this. I can’t seem to find any information about this project online or find anyone who knows anything about it. So, without knowing the why, how, or who, I figured I’d at least get the where and what out there for others to see and enjoy, especially for those who don’t live close enough to see them on their own.

creeper

The Creeper I first saw is on the heavily trafficked Basswood Boulevard that stretches through suburbs influenced by the machinations of Ross Perot Jr. The Creeper calls the intersection of Basswood and North Riverside home, where he can calmly watch commuters head off to work every day in the blazing sun.

tetrominoes1

Another location on Basswood features three Tetrominoes side by side, situated just beneath a 7-11. This is one of the few locations near a fairly well traveled sidewalk, but even so, it remains in good condition.

tetrominoes2

There is another set of similar Tetrominoes on the other thoroughfare I’ve found populated with mosaics, Denton Highway. This other set is located beneath the repetitively titled El Wine Chateau Wine Shop & Wine Bar. (They sell wine there.)  Note how it appears the color choice on this set was made to blend in with the neighboring lamp post in downtown Keller.

dig dug

The other two installments are also on Denton Highway in Keller, and each features a Dig Dug character. Just outside of a Discount Tire is the game’s titular hero, standing guard over grass, trash, and a storm sewer.

pooka

Farther north, is one of Dig Dug’s enemies, Pooka. His goggled eyes are staring out beneath Oasis Dental – a strange location for a mouthless villain.

There doesn’t appear to be a pattern to the location of the pixel art. I'm sure there are some that I’m missing on different stretches of road, but I’ve looked around a decent amount and haven’t spotted any yet. The good news is that mapping out the locations doesn’t form some sort of pentagram with my house at the center.

pixel art

If you live in the area and have any information about these little guys or see any yourself, please let me know. I’d love to get in touch with the artist and find all of the installations. I’ll post updates if I ever find out more.


 

Comments

Rangergirl

09/03/2013 at 10:36 AM Reply | Permalink | Report

That's really cool. I love finding little things like that in urban and suburban areas. Not so much out in nature, though. While I have yet to come across pixel or any other game-related art, I did find this on a sidewalk:

pig drawing

Travis Hawks Senior Editor

09/03/2013 at 01:23 PM Reply | Permalink | Report

Is that drawn into the cement or on it? Looks like a thing someone draws because it's the only thing they can draw. Like a cube or Garfield. I probably couldn't even draw that well anymore...

Rangergirl

09/03/2013 at 02:42 PM Reply | Permalink | Report

Drawn into the cement.

Cary Woodham

09/03/2013 at 06:14 PM Reply | Permalink | Report

So cool! I live in North Texas, too, but not near Ft. Worth.

Burbanosky

09/05/2013 at 08:35 PM Reply | Permalink | Report

I found dig dug last night. I though how cool! Then while in Keller running on the bear creek trails tonight I found another. That led me to research the Internet and I found this post. The one I found is west of Rufe Snow and just south of bear creek road by the bridge. 

Travis Hawks Senior Editor

09/05/2013 at 08:42 PM Reply | Permalink | Report

What? Sweet! Your image isn't working, though. I'd love to know the address of the one you found! You can respond here or send me a PM. 

Burbanosky

09/05/2013 at 09:07 PM Reply | Permalink | Report

It's on the corner of rufe snow and bear creek road. On the south west corner. I don't know how else tI upload the pic from my iPhone. 

Burbanosky

09/05/2013 at 09:08 PM Reply | Permalink | Report

I'm intrigued now though and probably going to  keep my eyes peeled for more

Travis Hawks Senior Editor

09/05/2013 at 09:14 PM Reply | Permalink | Report

Great, thanks! Report back if you find any others!

leeradical42

09/05/2013 at 09:32 PM Reply | Permalink | Report

Alright im busted I went to Dallas from Austin and started spreading the word next you will find pixlbit lol!! Kidding of course but it is giving me ideas for Austin lol!! That is cool though.

Travis Hawks Senior Editor

09/08/2013 at 07:35 PM Reply | Permalink | Report

I went and found the one that Barbanosky posted about. Pretty exciting to me as I'm a big Donkey Kong nut! I've also updated the map below. 

If anyone else sees one, let me know. If you're the artist, feel free to contact me privately at travis AT pixlbit dawt com. 

Burbanosky

09/09/2013 at 09:20 PM Reply | Permalink | Report

I found a few more. One looks like the spaceship in Galaga off beach right before summerbrook cir on the bridge, and the other 1 block south of there on beach and prewitt. That one looks like more tetrominoes. Which I have seen in many locations but can't remember all the places. 

Travis Hawks Senior Editor

09/09/2013 at 10:01 PM Reply | Permalink | Report

You're much better at finding these than I am! I really appreciate it. 

 

Travis Hawks Senior Editor

09/10/2013 at 08:46 AM Reply | Permalink | Report

I found these two and one more. Hopefully I can get pics up soon. This person/group has been busy!

Nick DiMola Director

09/10/2013 at 09:35 AM Reply | Permalink | Report

I love this scavenger hunt! Can't wait to see the other ones you guys found.

Travis Hawks Senior Editor

09/10/2013 at 09:00 PM Reply | Permalink | Report

Took some quick pictures of two more today. I saw the two that Barbanosky found and two additional Tetris scenes. Here's the updated map and the two pics.  The Galaga one looks like the bottom half is missing. At least it looks like the head of a Galaga bug to me. There are no tiles on the ground so they were mowed up or tossed or something if they used to be there. Perhaps it is still in work?!

daftman

09/11/2013 at 04:24 PM Reply | Permalink | Report

Whoa, this is really cool! It's like rogue video game art lol. They must put them up in the middle of the night or something.

Floaterr

09/11/2013 at 06:05 PM Reply | Permalink | Report

Tetris piece - Found at North Tarrant and Rufe Snow. West side of traffic box.

Zelda - Found on 377 south of North Tarrant. Light post adjacent 377

Travis, if you could please update your map. Also, there is a green mushroom from Mario on 377 north of Watauga road. I'll try and get a pic asap.

..Zelda

 

 

Tetris piece

Travis Hawks Senior Editor

09/11/2013 at 07:04 PM Reply | Permalink | Report

Alright! Another spotter. I'll try to at least update the map. This is getting huge!! That Zelda is big!

Nick DiMola Director

09/11/2013 at 09:30 PM Reply | Permalink | Report

Awesome! Love that Link one. If whoever is making these sees this post - make Ganon. You know you want to.

Floaterr

09/12/2013 at 05:03 PM Reply | Permalink | Report

Right! How about the Pitfall guy? I don't know why but that just popped into my head...DEFENDER! ;)    Thx to the artist if he/she is out there...

Travis Hawks Senior Editor

09/11/2013 at 10:03 PM Reply | Permalink | Report

I snapped a quick pic of the 1up Mushroom Floaterr found and updated the map. The one green marker is just to remind me that I haven't verified its location personally, but I'm sure it's right.

It looks like Rufe Snow is worth investigating the way things are forming on the map, but who knows.

I'll try to take pictures with my DSLR sometime soon of all these new ones and hunt for more.

Thanks, Floaterr!

 

 

Floaterr

09/12/2013 at 06:11 PM Reply | Permalink | Report

I created this map to help those update and better locate the pixel art. Please update as you see fit.

https://mapsengine.google.com/map/edit?mid=zhR0q23SIny4.kogeMFnBM3b0

Travis Hawks Senior Editor

09/12/2013 at 08:50 PM Reply | Permalink | Report

Found another small one with Tetrominoes at the intersection of Beach and Western Center. The pic I snapped is pretty bad, but I was feeling pretty conspicuous with people waiting in line at the bank and tons of cars in the intersection staring at me. I'll get better pics later of this one too.

Small map update too, but it's hard to tell.

Justin Matkowski Graphic Designer

09/13/2013 at 05:15 PM Reply | Permalink | Report

This is awesome Travis! It's amazing what some Pixel Art will do to liven up an environment - I totally marked out for Link and the Donkey Kong flame! The Dig Dug characters are great, too. Keep images of these coming!

Travis Hawks Senior Editor

09/15/2013 at 10:23 PM Reply | Permalink | Report

Found another set of tetrominoes on 377 and added it to the map. I also took more pictures of most that I hadn't, and I'll get those up sometime soon too.  

Floaterr

09/16/2013 at 09:58 AM Reply | Permalink | Report

At the intersection of 377 and Bear Creek Pkwy.  The Southeast corner, tile facing west. :)

377 & Bear Creek

Travis Hawks Senior Editor

09/16/2013 at 10:38 AM Reply | Permalink | Report

Good pic! That's the one I just found too. I wonder if these low key tetrominoes pieces were first and the artist is increasing the colors and detail over time.

Travis Hawks Senior Editor

09/16/2013 at 11:17 PM Reply | Permalink | Report

A few pics that don't have a representation yet. Well, the one with two blocks of Tetrominoes I am posting because the other one I posted was pretty blurry.

Travis Hawks Senior Editor

09/18/2013 at 09:33 AM Reply | Permalink | Report

Spotted another creeper this morning at Western Center and I35. I'll have to get a picture with a zoom lens sometime. It's over fossil creek on the wall of a parking lot that juts out over the water. Had to have been installed upside down from the parking lot. Impressive.

Think that makes 16 found so far. How many are there?

Please contact me if you are the one making these amazing mosaics.

Travis Hawks Senior Editor

09/18/2013 at 10:19 PM Reply | Permalink | Report

Added the newest creeper to the map. Not sure if these are going to pop up on the other side of the interstate now. Also, it looks like the bottom chunk is shaped like a triangle. Coincidence? One way to find out...

Floaterr

09/20/2013 at 04:58 PM Reply | Permalink | Report
More Tetris pieces on the bridge at Western Center and 35. The south side of the bridge or westbound traffic on the side of the bridge closest to 35 three Tetris pieces

Travis Hawks Senior Editor

09/20/2013 at 05:13 PM Reply | Permalink | Report

Awesome! I'll check it out asap!

Floaterr

09/20/2013 at 05:17 PM Reply | Permalink | Report

Screwed up.  East bound lanes.   Brain fart. Near the Wingstop.  

Travis Hawks Senior Editor

09/20/2013 at 10:31 PM Reply | Permalink | Report

No worries. I was able to see it as I whizzed by in the rain.  I'll have to get a picture of that one and the creeper across the street soon. Thanks for the tip!

Floaterr

09/20/2013 at 11:37 PM Reply | Permalink | Report

Pretty sure that the ones on the Western Center bridge were put up after Thur 4pm and before Fri 4pm. That's my work route and I have been looking awefully hard for them, I did't see it thur afternoon. I just mean to say it looks like th artist(s) are going strong and I hope they keep it up.. :)

dcescott

09/20/2013 at 05:49 PM Reply | Permalink | Report

I'm within the area too up by North Tarrant. Very cool. I doubt it's him, but there's this guy: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Invader_%28artist%29

Travis Hawks Senior Editor

09/20/2013 at 10:33 PM Reply | Permalink | Report

Ha! I had found a web page with a bunch of those in Paris, but hadn't seen this more extensive wikipedia entry about the guy. It's pretty cool!

Thanks for stopping by. Let us know if you see any more around.

dcescott

09/21/2013 at 08:24 PM Reply | Permalink | Report

Ok I have all but 2 photographed. One is by the Galaga piece on beach (can't find it). The other by the wingstop. The fireball is about 1/3 destroyed already. http://www.flickr.com/x/t/0095009/photos/20219766@N05/9861050204/

Travis Hawks Senior Editor

09/21/2013 at 11:11 PM Reply | Permalink | Report

I can definitely tell that the fireball is getting beat up by someone. Sad.

I've got a few more to go snap some pics of. Hopefully they will be around long enough. That fireball is probably on the most traveled area, and an area traveled by bored kids that are most likely to beat it up. 

dcescott

09/23/2013 at 02:19 PM Reply | Permalink | Report

Ok, I updated the map.  I found two more by the Creeper on Western Center.  Note to make:  the creeper is the only one that's up high as the rest are at eye level and below. I took a shot from a distance, and up close. 

http://www.flickr.com/photos/20219766@N05/9901186783/in/set-72157635734108674/

it's blurry, but it does show the location. Just had my iphone with me at the time.

http://www.flickr.com/photos/20219766@N05/9901132834/

 

Travis Hawks Senior Editor

09/23/2013 at 10:36 PM Reply | Permalink | Report

Cool! I had missed the three square one on the light post. That's the most basic one yet... well at least the least video gamey one. 

Keep 'em coming! I haven't seen any new ones on my own in days. I'm having withdrawal.

Floaterr

09/24/2013 at 09:43 AM Reply | Permalink | Report

dcescott - Thx for the great pics....

Parking lot Creeperclose up of CreeperTetris 1Tetris 2

phasv2

10/18/2013 at 04:45 AM Reply | Permalink | Report

There is a Pokeball on the dumpster surround behind Lee's Cheese on North Tarrant. My wife and I have seen a lot of the ones mentioned in the comments...It's so cool.

Travis Hawks Senior Editor

10/20/2013 at 09:10 PM Reply | Permalink | Report

Thanks for the tip! Looks like Lee is looking for the artist and wants a mural installed at his restaurant. He has a pic of the pokeball here.

Travis Hawks Senior Editor

10/22/2013 at 04:33 PM Reply | Permalink | Report

I have been told that the local Channel 11 might be airing something related to these mosaics tonight. I'll update when I know more.

Travis Hawks Senior Editor

10/22/2013 at 07:53 PM Reply | Permalink | Report

The little article/snippet on Channel 11 news is linked here: http://dfw.cbslocal.com/2013/10/22/mysterious-art-vandals-accept-job-to-create-mural/

The two artists shown are said to be responsible for the Pokeball and a Tri-Force piece under a bridge... Wasn't exactly sure where the Tri-Force is based on the picture they showed. 

Looks like Lee's Grilled Cheese will have a big 8-bit styled mosaic soon. Should be pretty cool! Although, it is hilariously across the street from a shopping center that was crazy colors and everybody hated until they painted over everything and made it boring...

Nick DiMola Director

10/22/2013 at 08:18 PM Reply | Permalink | Report

Cool to see that get some coverage down there! Though the author of that article needs an editor badly...

Travis Hawks Senior Editor

10/22/2013 at 10:20 PM Reply | Permalink | Report

Seems like that's just the transcript and not actually written/edited for typical reading... but what do I know?

Notable that only two mosaics were discussed and they are distinctly different from others around town...

dcescott

10/28/2013 at 01:44 PM Reply | Permalink | Report

just read/watched the article.  Not bad for a couple of teens!  Can't wait to see the mural on Lee's buidling. I'll check out those two mosaics soon, but it looks like their handywork imho.  For instance, on installing, it's a mixed bag depending on the surface and location  The 1up mushroom is mounted on wire mesh and they painted the green tiles.  And the 2nd Creeper square off western center is also prebuilt but installed with liquid nails (guessing).  They are inconsistent from one to the next on the tiles. But again, no complaints.  Hope they keep at it.

Travis Hawks Senior Editor

10/28/2013 at 02:16 PM Reply | Permalink | Report

I noticed some differences too. Maybe it's been a series of copycats after the first few... As always, I'd love to talk to one of the artists and will keep everything anonymous.

Travis Hawks Senior Editor

11/02/2013 at 03:44 PM Reply | Permalink | Report

My son spotted a new (?) one at North Tarrant and 377 in front of the Sears appliance store. 

Travis Hawks Senior Editor

11/02/2013 at 07:35 PM Reply | Permalink | Report

Also, on a light pole base next to this one, somebody spray painted a big "F" in red, followed by "ART" in black and slightly smaller. Fart or F art...

Floaterr

11/05/2013 at 02:12 PM Reply | Permalink | Report

Missed getting a pic. But next to the Zelda on 377 and Basswood there is a new heart power meter on a lamp post..

Travis Hawks Senior Editor

11/05/2013 at 02:35 PM Reply | Permalink | Report

Cool! I'll check it out.

Burbanosky

11/06/2013 at 08:37 PM Reply | Permalink | Report

I was so excited to come on hear because I found the pokeball and the red mushroom this week but you guys had already found it. So fun! We still need to get out and locate the Zelda ones. That is my kids very fave. Still hoping for more and excited about the Lee's mural. So fun

Travis Hawks Senior Editor

11/12/2013 at 09:35 AM Reply | Permalink | Report

I tried to summarize all of the found mosaics here: http://www.pixlbit.com/blog/4769/pixel_mosaic_summary

Keep reporting them here as you find them and I'll update the summary as we go!

Floaterr

11/19/2013 at 12:30 AM Reply | Permalink | Report

377 tarrant

Travis Hawks Senior Editor

11/20/2013 at 04:42 PM Reply | Permalink | Report

Thanks! This one is next to Link in front of the Panda Express on 377 if anyone isn't able to find that info up above.

miss_saxobeat

12/20/2013 at 06:27 PM Reply | Permalink | Report

Do you guys have a most recent map? I have a graffitti kink (you could call it that) and I'm really wanting to take pictures of them before someone removes them or they're destroyed or too faded. All of these are within 5 miles of my house! 

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