Colin Darke works hard. He is a successful artist, lawyer, and writer, who enjoys running marathons in his spare time (and he is a father, husband, brother, son). More importantly, he uses his tremendous energy to help his hometown through his volunteering, fundraising, and pro bono work. The Detroit News described Colin’s paintings as employing “a bold, colorful style reminiscent of the German Expressionists.”
Born in 1977 in Southfield, Michigan, Colin began drawing and painting at a very young age—he is the youngest of five in a family of lawyers and artists. He earned his Bachelor of Fine Arts, with an emphasis in watercolor painting, from Western Michigan University in 2001. During college, he participated in several group exhibitions, including one at the Royal Scottish Academy of Music and Drama in Glasgow, Scotland. His college experience culminated with a successful solo exhibition. After college, Colin continued to paint and exhibit his work, but he also pursued a legal career. Colin obtained his Juris Doctorate, cum laude, from Michigan State University College of Law in 2004, and he obtained an LL.M. from Boston University School of Law in 2008, where he received the A. John Serino Outstanding Graduate Banking Law Student Prize (“awarded to the student who displays outstanding overall performance, in terms of academic achievement and dedication to the highest standards of scholarship and service”).
He is the Editor-in-Chief and a regular contributor to the Detroit cultural webzine TheDetroiter.com (est. 2002). He also writes for the influential Brooklyn based art blog Hyperallergic, and he is a regular contributor to The Huffington Post.
In 2012, Colin had a successful solo show at Art Effect Gallery in Detroit; participated in an invitational group show at The River’s Edge Gallery in Wyandotte, Michigan; and Juror Mi-kyoung Lee selected his work for the 2012 Michigan Fine Arts Competition. Colin also curated a highly successful invitational show, Beauty Debate, at Art Effect Gallery, which showcased national and international art stars from New York, Michigan, Indiana, and California. In conjunction with Y-Arts, he launched a speaker series about contemporary arts.
In 2011, he was invited to participate in the Actual Size Biennial (Juror: Aaron Timlin), and he had a solo exhibition and lecture at Michigan State University College of Law. He also participated in a group show in Brooklyn, New York, organized by Kianga Ellis Projects. In 2010, Colin was juried into two highly competitive art competitions: (1) the 2010 Michigan Fine Arts Competition (Juror: Sondra Freckelton) at the Birmingham Bloomfield Art Center in Birmingham, Michigan, and (2) the 18th Annual National Juried Exhibition (Juror: Rackstraw Downes (2009 MacArthur Fellow)) at the Bowery Gallery in the Chelsea neighborhood of New York, New York. The Birmingham Bloomfield Art Center also invited Colin to participate in a two person show, and the LaFontsee Gallery selected Mr. Darke and his sister Kelly Darke to showcase their “Sibling Revelry” series of paintings at its gallery for the annual ArtPrize competition in Grand Rapids, Michigan.