Editor’s Inbox: Grinchy Farewell, Cowtown Artist

Almost daily, geography-challenged public relations professionals litter my email with story pitches about “local” newsmakers who turn out to be in Collin, Denton, or even Tarrant counties.

If I reply, it’s only to inform them that my hyper-local community newspapers are narrowly focused on the Park Cities and Preston Hollow areas of Dallas.

To be extra clear, I’ll add something like: We don’t cover Fort Worth.

Today, I’m making a holiday exception for 3D chalk artist Jan Riggins of Fort Worth because you may have seen her highly Instagramable work this fall at The Shops at Park Lane.

The luxury retail center sits across U.S. 75 from NorthPark Center, barely outside People Newspapers’ in-home distribution area.

Her art there included dogs dressed up for Halloween, World Series MVP Corey Seager bursting out of a Texas-shaped hole to celebrate the Texas Rangers championship, and, as an ode to the late Matthew Perry, a depiction of when his Friends co-star Courteney Cox wore a turkey on her head.

Alas, Riggins’ latest, a holiday-themed 3D chalk painting, could end this brief chapter in area art history.

“Yes, that is the last one,” confirmed Kwyn Johnson of Evolve PR and Marketing. “The Shops at Park Lane had contracted her a four-painting series, so this is just the last of that series.”

Riggins, who grew up in Norman, Oklahoma, and graduated from the University of Oklahoma, describes herself as a highly competitive high school and college clarinetist turned self-taught artist.

“I grew up around artists as my mother painted every Christmas card by hand, and my grandmother filled all of our houses with her paintings,” Riggins explains on janrigginsart.com.

“After college, I began everything involved with being an adult and working a full-time job and found that I missed creating,” she said. “I realized whether it was music or art, I had a definite need to ‘create.’”

Colored pencils and watercolors filled that void until March 2020, when she and her daughter, Olivia, began chalking the driveway and sidewalk.

“This soon became a nightly activity,” Riggins said. “I now chalk for companies and at festivals across the world, with Olivia helping when she can. We enjoy bringing 3D creations to life.”

Bringing to life her December painting — a Grinch-like hand reaching out of a gift box poised to pluck whoever might sit on the other hand — took 14 hours and wrapped up Dec. 9. Riggins used tempera paint to help it last longer in a high-traffic area.

“It was a windy weekend, which proved to be a bit challenging,” Riggins said. “It was so fun to have kids walk by and get excited as I was working on it.”

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William Taylor

William Taylor, editor of Park Cities People and Preston Hollow People, shares a name and a birthday with his dad and a love for community journalism with his colleagues at People Newspapers. He joined the staff in 2016 after more than 25 years working for daily newspapers in such places as Alexandria, Louisiana; Baton Rouge; McKinney; San Angelo; and Sherman, though not in anywhere near that order. A city manager once told him that “city government is the best government” because of its potential to improve the lives of its residents. William still enjoys covering municipal government and many other topics. Follow him on Twitter @Seminarydropout. He apologizes in advance to the Joneses for any angry Tweets that might slip out about the Dallas Cowboys during the NFL season. You also can reach him at [email protected]. For the latest news, click here to sign up for our newsletter.

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