"The Bulls of Durham" living history book is Durham's book - of Durham, for Durham.
In line with that we opened up a public cover art contest and were lucky enough to have 16 submissions that warranted moving onto the public voting. Public voting opened on September 19th and will run through October 5th at midnight. We've had well over 1000 votes. The Bull City population is notoriously last minute, get your favorite submission in the lead now before that final hour voting avalanche.
You're welcome to vote every day, from every email you have. We have an unbiased volunteer on deck tabulating the results, so get extra with it.
Before you cast your final vote, take a moment to get to know each of the Cover Art Contestants. Each contestant was asked to share their connection to Durham, explain their art and explain how it connects with "The Bulls of Durham" living history book. As this book will rep the city far years to come in front of thousands of eyes, it's important that the submission lines up with all the of the criteria and that, we, as a community choose the cover.
Below are each of the contestants submissions in order of their randomly assigned submission number.
This image captured the attention of every Bull City loving Instagrammer when photographer Relly Moorer shared it on April 27, 2018. It was quickly reposted, with permission of course, by @thebullsofdurham and even @durhamnc. The night-and-day lens work seemed to play Durham's duality. We were delighted to see this piece be submitted for consideration.
In Relly's own words, "This photo displays the hustle and bustle of Durham 24/7. The Old Bull is always looking to encourage anyone that passes by. Just looking at the American Tobacco Campus anyone can discover the rich history that exists in Durham, North Carolina. The African American hand in the photo can also represent Durham's diversity and how important that is to growth of the city."
"My name is Relly Moorer and I am a Video Content Creator. I moved to the area in 2014. I spent two years working at ABC 11 Eyewitness News off of Liberty Street. At ABC 11 I quickly learned about many different aspects that make Durham the beautiful city that it is. I always look for different perspectives and that's what my goal was with this photo."
DeCario Allen was the first to submit artwork into "The Bulls of Durham" living history book cover contest. This submission came with a cover letter that pulled on the team's heartstrings and may very well give you a serious case of Bull City feels.
In DeCario's own words, "I am a visual artist that enjoys creating using various mediums - painting, digital/graphic design, and photography. Being a Durham native and graduate of Hillside High School, I am more than excited to have relocated back to the area learning that art and culture is still being the forefront of Durham’s unique community."
"I have admired your perspective on the city and would love to be considered for "The Bulls of Durham’s" Cover Art Contest. Growing up in the Durham has permitted me to become the creative that I am today. My cover art provides a take on Durham’s humble beginnings as well as the growth and future of Durham."
Hannah Dagen celebrated her first year as a Durham resident by submitting artwork for a book that will be released in celebration of Durham's 150th anniversary. Now that's a cool back story.
In Hannah's own words, "I am a 27 year old Duke University employee and current resident of Durham County, as of the 16th of August have lived here for one year. I moved to North Carolina by a way of five other previous states due to schooling and job offers. Since moving here, I have learned so much about the culture of the south; being brought into a community of warm faces and helping hands. North Carolina as a whole is a place that has so much diversity and history, but then Durham, itself, has it's own unique personality. There is always something to do, something new to see, and always so much more to learn."
"I tried to capture the essence of Durham, North Carolina as a whole in the cover art I have presented to you. The shape itself is the outline of Durham County. The colors are inspired by the state flag of North Carolina; with the body of the bull having the NC stamp of approval. And the Bull of course representing the "Bull City."
Durham native Anissa Hester not only submitted artwork that is VERY DURHAM, but her cover letter is about as Durham as it can get. The Bull, the stars, the colors and the very Durham attitude - it's all there.
Note if you see this cover letter framed in my office, don't worry. Anissa knows. It's just so Durham!
In Anissa's own words, "I was born and raised in Durham and have lived here all 24 years of my life. If anyone knows anything about Durham, it would be me."
"The artwork I’ve proposed is simple. I feel as though if there’s a book about Durham history, it should have a reference to the Durham flag—stars, red, yellow, and blue."
I think my art style is fitting for the cover. What a lot of newcomers don’t know about Durham is that many people looked down on us for years. Something I remember when walking downtown this year was someone saying, “Remember when this place used to be a dump?” Now it’s a “hip” place to be. I’ve seen the changes here and if you’re going for history, I think the feel of the old Durham would be good to reach the residents here. My style is rough. I’m rough. Durham’s rough. It’s all reminiscent of that phrase “diamond in the rough.” Bull City’s about no bull, so I gave it to you straight."
Durham native Jordan Elliker submitted photos for consideration as individual covers or a front and back combo. His photo features our BULLoved Major in the foreground and One City Center under construction looming in the background. His artwork features a humBULL bull with the city skyline prior to One City Center.
In Jordan's own words, "I'm an illustrator and photographer and a native of Durham. This photo and drawing were both created recently and were received well by the Durham community, and both have bulls in them already so it works well. I think the mixture of photography and illustration is a captivating combination and one for the front and one for the back would be perfect."
Multimedia artist Fab Bianchi submitted two different variations of his artwork he titled "Running with the Bulls."
In Fab's own words, "Like a painting with so many layers of acrylics to form a rich textured surface, Durham is itself a large canvas with its multiple layers of history, diverse culture, galleries, restaurants and a wide range of activities that I have experienced for so many years. The longer I live here, the more layers I build on my own life that reflect the layers that build upon themselves in this city of bulls. But the main ‘layer’ from living here has been experiencing all the art shows and events that have inspired me to create my own masterpieces with its own layers and unique imagery."
"My latest art series of wooden bulls using old paintings and materials is a reflection of my
experiences from living in Durham and almost a literal translation of ‘running with the bulls’, which I
plan to exhibit in Durham and the Triangle soon. It is these bulls that has created a charging
momentum that I haven’t felt as an artist in a long time yet holds a lot of promise to keep that
This submission arrived in the form of a complete cover mockup ready to go for print. The creators put the cover letter in place of the back of the book excerpt. Their attention to detail and thoroughness really stood out! David Wilson emailed on behalf of the team.
In David's own words, "We propose an abstract representation of Durham using the motif of mosaic as a pattern. The large sized Bull will enclose the colorful patchwork of Durham's diversity. The style of the bull is bold and will honor the attitude and flavor of our city. The brushed text of "Bulls of Durham: emblazons the bulls body and iconic skyline."
"A stylized street map overlays the colorful collage and the stars from Durham's flag punctuates this eye-catching design. We feel that our design is a direct fit with "The Bulls of Durham" book cover as it encapsulates the nature of the project, is identifiable to all audiences and uniquely one-of-a-kind."
"We enjoy apply for projects that allow us to utilize our creativity to narrate Durham's diverse community and culture. Note: Durham skyline photo is stock photo/royalty free."
The Old Bull building is the oldest standing building in Durham. Others were built prior, but it is W.T. Blackwell's tobacco warehouse that has weathered the test of time... and an awkward pink, sheet metal phase. This building and it's iconic neon signage capture hearts of Durham natives and newcomers alike. Only fitting that Durham native and upcoming young bull photographer Amir Hussain submitted his photo of the legendary building.
In Amir's own words, "This is the backdrop of Durham downtown and I feel like it's our gateway to the city. With generations growing up being able to see the Lucky Strike tower, it's amazing to share a view that our past generations saw."
"I was born and raised in Durham and I'm proud to call the Bull City my home. I hope that this book will serve generations of future Durhamites!"
This artwork submission captures something that is distinct Durm - collaboration. In getting permission to submit a photo of Victor Kinght III's incrediBLUE mural that’s up Alley 26 and around the corner, Brian Bonomo asked to collab. UnBULLievaBULL! Love seeing our creative community coming together. #BullCityFeels #OnlyInDurham do we flip the script on dark alleys and competition like that! Ey-Oh!
Victor Knight is blessed to call the Bull City his birth place. His IncrediBULL graffiti art defies stereotypes and makes a bold, uplifting impression upon anyone lucky enough to lay eyes on it. He appreciates “The Bulls of Durham” project for shining a positive light on our city & bringing together our community. #Feels
Brian Bonomo submitted 3 pieces, including his above collaboration with mural artist Victor Knight. It's clear that in the decade he's called Durham home, our proud Bulls have left a mark on him.
In Brian's own words, "I am a 10 year resident of Durham. I am a passionate photographer that likes to gather images from our wonderful city. These are the 3 images that I would like to submit for your book cover. The first image is a mural of a blue Bull with the words “grab life” which is a great saying and great words to live by. The second and third images are of “Major” our most famous bull in town! Being a New York transplant, Major made me feel at home. We had the bulls of Wall Street and it was comforting seeing another bull in my new home town. If chosen I would like to donate half of the prize money back to our amazing city to a charity of your choosing."
Recent Durham transplant Sayaka Tanaka infused her art submissions with her Japanese heritage and artistic training. It's clear that in the year she's been in Durham, the Bull City has left its beautiful mark on her heart.
In Sayaka's own words, "I'm a Japanese native Certified Zentangle Teacher who married to a Durham resident. I moved to Durham a couple of years ago. I also work in Durham."
"I draw two pictures with black ink pen and pencil. Adult bull is for front cover. It represents power and growth of Durham. Different patterns of the bull represents rich history and diversity of Durham."
"Baby bull in heart shape is for back cover. I chose baby bull because I feel Durham is family and kids friendly city. Also baby bull represents potential. Left side of heart is of course baseball. The shape and size are different. Because I want to describe that baseball is for everyone, and diversity, open mindness of Durham. Right side of the heart and patterns on baby bull's face represents nature of Durham and NC."
Multimedia artist TJ Murray submitted artwork for both the front and back cover of the book. The 2 pieces of art combine show the different sides of Durham.
In TJ's own words, "The art I'm submitting is my own original art. The concepts I've tried to express reflect the unique history and the vitality of a thriving, artistic community. The front cover reflects the history & character of Durham and the Bulls. From the roots of a thriving tobacco business, to a changing & diverse community."
"The tobacco rails brought industry and trade to Durham but that isn't what defined this city's future. In creating the back cover I had in my head this thought; "The tracks may have come to an end and long since faded into memory but the story; the Story goes on". "
"My name is TJ Murray, photographer & digital artist moved to Durham just over 2 years ago to start a new joint artistic venture. We had originally looked at Asheville because it's such an artsy town but it did not have the economy and vision of Durham. At first I had no idea that this was 'the' Durham as in Bull Durham but after that I was fascinated with the town and history, fan ever since."
Now that you've had the opportunity to meet the artists, head over and cast your daily vote. You can vote once a day per email address.
Preorder your signed, first edition of "The Bulls of Durham," today. Please note pricing includes support for the project.
The Bulls of Durham 1st Edition Pre-Order
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Signed, first print copy of "The Bulls of Durham" living history book. Projected book launch is April 10th, 2019, Durham's 150th Anniversary. This purchase includes your book and support for the project.
"The Bulls of Durham" living history book blends Durham's rich history with stories and perspectives of our city's greats that are continuing to build upon that history. And in this way, this is the story of Durham, North Carolina through the bulls' eyes.
Learn how a city that literally started from a tobacco seed in the ashes of the Civil War grew into the best city on earth. Discover how a stolen bull brought about a history shifting, global tobacco empire; and how 150 years later that relates to a British mustard company having beef with Sheila. #NotSorry
Find out the backstory to how the now hippest, foodiest, tech-hub of the South also gave rise to the bullpen, billboards, branding and baseball cards. Delve into our city's strong Black history that proves "Do It Like Durham" isn't a passing trend and will give you a profound sense of reverence walking down Parrish Street.
Best of all, see the common thread that runs through the stories of teachers, politicians, business owners, hip-hop artists, painters, activists, historians, architects and the real Bull City OG's. Hint: it's the BULLief that in Durham anything is possiBULL.
Welcome to Durham the incrediBULL place where grit meets grace. Here all you have to have is a dream and faith the size of a tobacco seed, because well, tobacco seeds build global empires, not mustard seeds.
Project book launch date: April 10, 2019 - Durham's 150th Anniversary.
Cover Art by DeCario Allen.