“The Bulls of Durham” living history book is Durham’s book and Durham chose it’s very own as the cover artist for the book.
On August 2nd, 2018, the 2-year anniversary of the project, we launched “The Bulls of Durham” cover art contest – an equitaBULL opportunity for local artists to be a part of the project. We were blessed to receive a wide variety of visual art from a truly diverse group of artists.
Art has historically been part of the Bull City’s success and culture. It’s the magnet that draws folks to Durham and the wildfire that spreads the city’s innovation across the globe. From strategically placed fences with genius backstories to artwork that becomes its very own kind of pyramid scheme for 150 years, art has built the Bull into what it is today.
When we received 16 incrediBULL submissions for the cover art contest we were floored. Moreover, every member of The Bulls of Durham team was grateful we didn’t have to choose the cover art because all the submissions were so unBULLievaBULL it was impossiBULL to choose. Yes, that much bull.
The Durham community had no problem choosing a cover. When we opened up public voting on 9/19, by chance, so many votes flooded in that the notifications bricked up my phone until the following morning. We received over 3000 votes. Oh hey, Durham. We noticed you like art and speaking your mind.
We heard you loud and clear. Durham native DeCario Allen’s cover art submission won – big time.
By chance, Decario was the first to submit his artwork. Now is proBULLy as good as a time as ever to point out that nothing happens by chance. DeCario’s cover letter was everything we could have hoped for. He shared that he was from the Bull and had recently moved back. The Bulls of Durham project has been integral in helping him reconnect with his city. Welcome home DeCario. Your community loves and values you and your art. We’ve got the numbers to prove it.
DeCario stopped by our office last week to make everything official. It was incrediBULL to get to meet him in person and to hear about the process of his artwork. We learned just how deep his Durham roots run. His great grandpa worked at American Tobacco and that’s just the beginning of it. DeCario is so Durham he mentioned what high school he graduated from in his cover letter. Now that is distinctly Durham. Hillside for anyone who’s wondering.
By the time DeCario left our office, it felt like he had always been a part of the team. In fact, we felt weird continuing our staff work session without him. Maybe he would have stayed if we asked and mentioned I was about to pick up dinner for everyone.
But the story doesn’t end there. It never does in Durham.
In meeting with DeCario he said something that many members of the community, myself and staff included, were saying as well. He really loved the submission by Relly Moorer. In fact, other than his own art, it would have been his choice. Where things get really interesting is he phrased it the exact same way that Relly did about Decario’s art. They had both voted for one another.
While Decario’s artwork won first place without question, Relly’s submission wasn’t far behind. Relly won second place and a clear part of Durham’s heart. His photo spoke volumes of the Bull City’s duality, innovation and strong black history. Moreover, it highlighted the purpose of “The Bulls of Durham” – to show Durham through the Bulls’ eyes. The multiple perspectives and diverse voices that make Durham, Durham.
We’re ecstatic beyond BULLief to announce that second place winner Relly Moorer’s photo will be featured on the cover of “Welcome to the Bull City. A prelude to The Bulls of Durham.” This mini book gives you a taste of what’s to come in “The Bulls of Durham” and will be arriving just in time for the holidays. This is a one-time print and we’re delighted that Relly’s artwork will get to shine in so many homes and businesses in the Bull City.
In line with the project’s mission, we reached out to additional photographers who entered the contest and asked if they would be interested in being featured within “Welcome to the Bull City.” They. All. Said. Yes. Diversity and inclusion matter. We’re happy to have an opportunity to include a very diverse group of photographers in the mini-book and look forward to giving them their due shouts individually.
Here and now, let’s celebrate DeCario Allen and Relly Moorer. They’ve LITERALLY got the city covered.
Now through the end of November, or while supplies last, preorder your copy of "The Bulls of Durham" and get a FREE copy of "Welcome to the Bull City."