Mural Durham began as an arts festival to bring together the Durham community and local Durham artists for a day of mural painting, food, music, and fun.
Over 600 people joined us for the first-ever Mural Durham event held on October 22, 2016, at the Arts Annex located on Duke's Campus and Burch Avenue.
We aim to have more events in the future, so check out our Facebook page or subscribe to our Instagram feed for updates — links below.
Excerpt from: The Mural Durham festival
focused on giving the Arts Annex a brighter look
By Duke Magazine
Mural Durham, a three-hour festival of mural painting, arts instigation, and activities, including everything from the Poetry Fox to doughnut decorating, drew a crowd to the Arts Annex. Though outwardly appearing like an industrial space, the Annex is filled with artistic activity. The front had been painted, but the rest needed help. Students on the duARTS and Duke Union VisArts committees and on the Arts Annex Student Advisory Board decided that getting local artists to paint murals on the outside of the building would spruce things up....
On a side wall Josh McBride, a Durham graffiti artist who goes by the name WOEM, rode a bright-green cherry picker up and down in the sun as he spray-painted finishing touches on a piece on the east wall that included his tag. In the shade on the north side, Brenda Miller Holmes climbed up and down a ladder, using a four-foot level to sketch straight lines over individual wall panels covered with vertical trails dripping of pink, blue, and yellow paint. “We just duct-taped a sponge to the end of a paint pole and watered down the paint a lot,” she said of the technique....
Dance workshops took up one space; in another the Poetry Fox—Durham poet Chris Vitiello, in a fox costume—tapped out poems on a manual typewriter, rubber stamped them, and gave them away. There were food trucks, ceramics, screen printing stations, two murals on inside walls to which anyone could contribute, a photo booth to keep the social-media streams running, and, finally, doughnuts to be decorated with everything from cake frosting in cans to sprinkles and bacon....
At the east wall, McBride looked at his almost-completed mural, with enormous bugs added by abstract artist Andrew Masullo, appreciating the unexpected juxtaposition. “That’s why we added those in. You have a natural organism, the bold colors,” McBride says. “Everything is there.”
I’m a visual artist in Durham, and I’ve been here for 6 or 7 years now. I was born to a family in the military so I moved around a lot. I consider myself a nomadic person but this is the first place I've called my home.
I’m data driven, my work expresses personal change through natural process and math. I translate data into origami patterns. I plan for foldable shape origami maps to create whatever I’m making.
The Durham Mural piece is called "Chrysalis" and is inspired by personal change. It has 84 intervals of time mapped in spirals. "Chrysalis" fits the venue with students tracking that change and understanding who they are.
I really like the Golden Belt down by the Carrack. I do a lot of work at Spectre Arts.
I’m looking forward to being a part of Mural Durham because it’s an opportunity to work outdoors and I will get to interact with a lot of students which doesn’t happen too often.
I only worked with students once for a van commission project called Kontek. I’m also excited to work with other artists.
I consider myself a fierce collaborator! I got the opportunity to cross disciplines with businesses a couple of times. I did the floor of the first Cocoa Cinnamon and the mural in the second store. And a lot of places downtown show collaborations between artists and businesses, those places are about community across all arts and that’s something I’ve never experienced before. It’s imbedded here in lovely unique ways and all comers all welcome! And we help each other. I hire my friends for a project they hire me sometimes, everybody always is hands on deck.
I grew up in Durham.
I'm a graffiti artist, I do paintings murals and canvases in graffiti style.
Ideas just come together really, I brainstorm a little bit but brainstorm design up, It’s hard for me to draw up what a mural is gonna look like. Most of it happens internally. I do really rough sketches in colors and patterns interest me.
In terms of hangouts I love going to the Bulls game. Food wise Tyler’s is a great place to eat.
I paint and redo the walls in Old North Durham, by the skate park regularly.
When it comes to painting murals, I get excited when it's done. The process is stressful and the result is actually a relief!
Yeah it changed a lot since I was younger! I’ve always been doing graffiti and murals, I studied art in school but back then it wasn’t really accepted, murals weren’t popular. Now I like that everybody wants murals, and there needs to be even more!
My style is much more accepted and I appreciate that. I’ve seen a huge change since I started in 98, 99. I remember the first place that was considered legal downtown for us to paint, the city council shut it down and painted over our stuff. It went from that to murals everywhere! It took time for it to get here...
I grew up in Boston, but I lived for 12 years in San Francisco which is where I got my training in public art.
The main focus of my public work is collaborative. I work with communities in order to give visual platforms to everyone to tell stories.
I've been thinking a lot about perception and projection; what we as individuals project into the world and what comes back into us and how we fit into the whole societal space we share.
I love to be Downtown!
My first experience was at The Carrack. I was really excited about how diverse the people who were there were and how welcoming, genuine, non-competitive and encouraging everyone was. I have met a lot of great people here and the art scene has grown. There is a lot of stuff going on and it's all for the better.
My only concern is about the economic growth of Durham and how expensive it's getting and how that might affect our artist community here.
I was born in Durham but my parents moved to Raleigh when I was young.
My style is graffiti, I consider myself a graffiti writer but I’m also a muralist, I do a lot of mixed media work with canvas and acrylic. Usually what I have going on large scale determines the time for the rest of my private experimental stuff.
Basically the idea is a mix of things. Amy (Unell) and I were brainstorming ideas, I had a couple of things I wanted to do prior to the text, but we were looking for something to tie the triangle and NC together.
Esse quam videri is a strong point for the scale of work I’m doing. I wanted to make a statement and to do so words are real important. To be rather than to seem.. It's me in a nutshell! A lot of people tend to put a different sort of persona or vibe depending on who they're around, but I live through my work. I would much rather be an artist than seem an artist, it's just art from 9 to 5.
I like to work wherever there's an opportunity! In terms of Durham, there's no real limit for me, this is my birth-spot. I actually just did a roof top wall at the American Tobacco Campus. It's my first mural here on a full scale. It’s more of a situation of me getting back in touch my roots, I’ve done tons of bodies of work in Raleigh but I want to trace it all back to where it started right here.
There are lot of similarities! They both share the generational “thing”, which is acceptance and desire for street art and creativity. It’s grown from a national to global scale, you definitely didn’t see the dynamic on this scale 10, 15 years ago. There is a huge drive for public art in both cities. With the respect of how many artists there are that live in the Triangle, and all the development and growth of this area, it was just a matter of time before this happened!
I am an illustrator, painter and graphic designer. I've been drawing since I was able to hold a crayon in my hand. I was born in San Antonio, Texas. I have lived in Durham over 20 years. I studied art at NCCU where I got my bachelors degree.
I would describe my art as pop art with a social statement. It's graphic art that uses vibrant colors and dark bold lines. The work provides commentary about the human condition.
The on-going issues around equality in the United States.
I am currently working on a graphic novel about a African American superhero by the name of Herald Jones, The Jade City Pharoah.
I am a big fan of The Vegan Flava Cafe and Beyu Cafe!
I was a military kid and I stayed a bunch of places, but I mainly grew up in Massachusetts. I went to the School of the Museum of Fine Arts in Boston, then the Massachusetts College of Art and then moved to North Carolina.
I would definitely say it's hip hop, graffiti and cartoon illustrated. I try to bring in little bit of fine arts and other artist influences but mainly it's just my love from comic book drawings and doodles.
I wanted to bring the Raleigh city oaks and the Durham bull together, so I'm doing little flying acorn bulls that are really neat! There's also going to be some graffiti and I'm going to incorporate a geometric background.
I have a lot of artist friends in Durham, they're all really cool and I've always really liked durham. But I loved Raleigh and found it to fit more my style of art. It is growing though and changing a lot but I love to paint in the free expression tunnel. Artists from all over go down there and do very cool stuff.
I love Kokyo BBQ, I follow the truck around, I actually painted the restaurant!
I love to draw and doodle in coffee shops, the Open Eye in Chapel Hill, Cup a Joe in Raleigh and the Blue Corn Cafe in Durham are all great places to get away.
I was born in 1976 in Tlayacapan, Morelos (Mexico). I grew up in Tacubaya, which is part of Mexico City.
I would describe my art as contemporary, with a retro and a futuristic tendency. My art is eclectic and humanistic. Humanistic because I am interested in society and in the individual.
The mural talks about America as a continent. Not a country, but an entire continent that shares the same origins as explained by the theories of the Bering Strait. Nowadays we all coexist, but each one defends their own origin, their own past, and their own tribes. The mural portrays a blending of the traditional American culture, through the Cherokee Indian, the traditional Aztec culture, through the feathered serpent (Quetzalcoatl), and the current Anglo-Saxon American culture, through the colors, the flag and the shoes. The mural works with icons of the past and icons of the present to create a dialogue through a single image.
I met Bob Healy in Mexico City 18 years ago. We stayed in contact and a couple of months back, the idea of coming to Duke to exhibit my work arose. I wanted to paint a mural during my stay, and fortunately, the dates coincided with the Mural Durham event.
A lot of people are not prepared to understand art. Doing art in a society that has become indifferent is complicated. Yet, there are some people that do sense that there’s something deeper expressed in my work. I have learned that the act of creation is something very personal…very spiritual. The magic happens in the dialogue between you and your panting, you and you paper, it’s something that happens between you and your work.