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The Spark Behind DCVB's Spring Art

The future of Durham's collaborative and welcoming cultural landscape is based, in part, on the creative minds that make the Bull City their home.

Posted By Ashley Strahm on Mar 09, 2018

This spring we’re celebrating an artist who is bringing his experience of our beloved city to life, one pen stroke at a time.

We commissioned artist and Durham resident Evan McIntyre to produce artwork for the cover of our spring seasonal newsletter. Discover the innovative mind behind the illustration that’s welcoming us into the season.

What role do you think art has to play in Durham's development as a city?

I think it's already played a crucial role in bringing creators together in a cooperative sense as well as fostering a healthy pride in our welcoming city. I am not a Durham native and had no idea what to expect when I moved here, but I was pleasantly surprised that every artist and maker that I encountered had less of a cutthroat attitude to show the city and world their "thing." Instead they were excited to help, encourage, and collaborate to create beautiful things.

Tell us a bit about the symbolism and thought process behind the objects, location, and figure you drew for our spring seasonal newsletter cover.

I was asked by the Durham Convention & Visitors Bureau to create an illustration celebrating the events that happen around the city in the spring. I immediately thought of a person just relaxing in the warm grass, basking in the sun, listening to whatever concert was happening outside. Everywhere I go in Durham, this is the attitude of just relaxing while enjoying the sights and sounds around us. I included the "MOM" tattoo as a nod to Mother's Day, a film guide for the Full Frame Film Festival, baseball and glove for the Durham Bulls, graduation cap for all the graduates, basketball jersey for the current season playoffs, music pass for Moogfest, and orange flip flops because I wear those all the time… all while under the shadow of the iconic Lucky Strike water tower at the American Tobacco Campus.

How does Durham pique your creativity and inspire you as an artist?

Again, I have to applaud our community. Durham consists of so many welcoming people that are genuinely excited to experience the creations of others and spread that information, collaborate, and/or encourage the many artisans in the area. I think because of this, there's this air of acceptance and a beautiful atmosphere that I feel as I walk through the neighborhoods and downtown. Durham's attitude is what inspires me.

Photo submitted by Evan McIntyre: Evan, taking a selfie when he visited the Peabody Essex Museum in Salem, Massachusetts.

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About the Author

Ashley Strahm - Content and Automation Manager
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Teller of stories. Eater of food. Lover of Durham. Find me pedaling swiftly, clad in Birkenstocks, schnoodle in tow. We're not in Jersey anymore.