Blog / Third Friday Durham


By Tanya Olson

June’s Third Friday Durham offers a last chance to catch the Calder show at the Nasher, movies in Central Park, music at LabourLove and openings galore [including “Lights, Peacock, Action” collages by Nasher Museum’s own Rachel Goodwin 2005-2012 – Ed.] That mix is what Durham often likes – a big name or two, some DIY brilliance and a sense of “if you build it, someone will show up and love what you’ve done”.

Main Street was part of a recent Third Friday Durham; the film was made here a couple years back and stars Colin Firth, Orlando Bloom and other recognizable names. The movie doesn’t just showcase Durham; it tells a story of Durham, an old tobacco town re-invisioning itself. And you know what?– it was terrible. Just awful. One of the worst movies ever made. Horrid dialogue, nonsensical plots, and the worst attempt at a Southern accent ever. (I’m looking at you Colin Firth.) Durham ought to sue.  Even more insulting is that Durham has such a great story to tell – a town that continues to struggle between big and little in the art scene, a town that believes that it is great, a town where artists support each other. But there’s no need to go to a big screen to see the Hollywood version of that story because you can live it every Third Friday Durham and every other night. Go see somebody doing something cool in their backyard or go to the Nasher Museum and see how artists today respond to Alexander Calder.

Third Friday Durham. Culture Happens Here. And It Isn’t Even Scripted.
Maps and more at

Tanya Olson holds the M.A. in Anglo-Irish Literature from University College, Dublin and a Ph.D. from UNC-Greensboro with a specialization in 20th-Century British Literature. She currently teaches English at Vance-Granville Community College. She serves on the board at Carolina Wren Press and co-coordinates Third Friday Durham. She is a poet and essayist who has published work in the Urban Hiker, Cairn, Simple Vows, Bad Subjects, and Main Street Rag. In 2002, she was the recipient of an Emerging Artist Grant from the Durham Arts Council. In 2008, she was the winner of a “Hippo” Award from The Monti for her spoken story, “Lemon Pig.” In 2010, she won the “Discovery” / Boston Review Award from the 92nd Street Y Unterberg Poetry Center.

Image: Part of “Lights, Peacock, Action,” Collages by Rachel Goodwin 2005-2012. Used with permission from the artist.

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