You may have seen the bright mural that’s popped up on the Bruegger’s Bagels building in Raleigh’s Ridgewood shopping center recently. It’s the work of the artist Dalek, who’s made his home here in Raleigh after stints living in Chicago and New York City.
Raleigh was recently identified by American Express and the national “Shop Small” movement as having one of the top markets in the nation for consumers who shop at local, independently owned stores—as well as who eat and drink at small, local businesses—and will be highlighted on Nov. 28 with pop-up events for “Small Business Saturday.”
Dalek’s paintings have been shown in galleries all over the U.S., in Europe and in Japan. He’s painted murals in towns and cities across the country, from Winston-Salem, to Scottsdale, Ariz., to Boulder, Colo., and even as far as way as Glasgow, Scotland.
We talked to Dalek—a dad and a fan of Doctor Who
and Duke basketball—about how he got involved with the “Shop Small” movement, why it’s important to support local small businesses and how he gives back to the community he calls home.
How did you get involved with the “Shop Small” movement, and why are you participating?
Evan [Pricco, the editor-in-chief] from Juxtapoz
magazine connected me with “shop small,” and after hearing about the project I thought it would be an amazing opportunity to paint a mural here in Raleigh and connect back to the community. I’ve been wanting to paint a mural here locally and I knew where I wanted to paint it. Ridgewood is a great shopping center. My kids spent a lot of time down there at Master Park’s Black Belt Academy. The owners of the shopping center are great friends. So it seemed like a perfect situation.
Is there any special meaning to the mural?
There is no specific meaning. It’s mostly about color, depth and motion. Just a way to bring some energy to the space.
Why did you choose to live in Raleigh?
Raleigh is a great place to live and raise kids [Marshall has two sons]. Plus I get to be close to Cameron Indoor. That’s high on my list of important things! Lots of natural beauty here, good people, pretty mellow weather…I could go on. Suffice it to say there is no shortage of possibilities here.
What are your favorite local businesses?
I live at [restaurant and pizzeria] Bella Italia and Tara Grill. NRBA [North Ridge Basketball Academy] and WCBA [Wake County Basketball Association] are both amazing basketball organizations here, as well as North Raleigh Bulldog Football. I don’t know where I’d be without them! Jerry’s Artarama, I clean those guys out of paint and mixing jars on a regular basis!
What are some ways you have found to contribute to the community?
I’d love to be painting more murals here. Tons of murals. Public art is a big piece of community I think is important and serves so many roles. More public art projects. More art education. I’d love to be involved with more of that. There is so much potential here in Raleigh for great things.