Artist ARCY has a secret

Artist ARCY is making his third appearance at the N.C. State fair in 2019, and you can expect to see the eye-catching paint splashed style he’s become known for.

“It will be my classic style that people are familiar with, highlighting elements unique to the North Carolina State Fair,” he said.

In 2017, ARCY – whose name is Ryan Christenson – painted a single mural over the 11 days of the fair. This year he is painting individual smaller canvases that measure 8 feet by 12 feet (8’x12’). Each day starting at 11 a.m., you can watch ARCY working on and finishing another piece of art.

I stopped by to see him at work on Friday afternoon, and he was working on this year’s first piece of large-scale street art. It’s viewable on the east side of the Expo Center. That’s the end of the building toward Dorton arena. If you walk to the Expo building, the canvases will likely be right in front of you beyond the breezeway.

 “The art is larger than life so they can’t miss it, and don’t forget about the hidden Mickeys,” he said. “I hide one among the paint splats in each painting I do!”

I love the idea of a little secret hiding in his murals, so I’ll have to go back and see if I can find a hidden Mickey Mouse. He takes about six hours to finish each piece each day, and onlookers will often check back on the progress throughout the day.

If you’d like to see some of the previous work he’s done at the State Fair, some of his murals now line the inside walls of the antique farm machinery building.

ARCY is based in his home state of Connecticut, but his style of live mural painting has taken him throughout North America, Australia and Europe. He still loves the vibe of state and local fairs though.

 “I’ve never left the fair without a monster bag of cotton candy and an assortment of candy apples to bring back home for my wife and kids in Connecticut,” he said.

About Tractor Pull

Tractor Pull is the fair-themed alias for Brandon Herring, a public information officer in the Public Affairs Division of the N.C. Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services. He's no stranger to the fair or the farm. A North Carolina native, he grew up helping on the family farm just east of Lumberton. After more than 15 years in TV news, he's sharing news of a different kind these days. He loves the rides on the fair's midway, but also loves that the fair has so many other things to see and do that are grounded in agriculture. His favorite fair food is a funnel cake with just powdered sugar - a classic!

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