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Local Artist, Eric McRay, To Be Featured At Cary’s Lazy Daze Festival

Eric McRay

Cary, NCRaleigh artist Eric McRay has been selected as the feature artist for the 41st Annual Town of Cary Lazy Daze Arts and Crafts Festival.

McRay, known as the Art Maestro, will unveil the “Cary Collection,” a series of original Heart-themed paintings created expressly for the town’s signature art expose. Each of the four paintings depicts one of the art festival themes – encased in a heart.

The festival will be held in downtown Cary on August 26-27, 2017. This is second year of the festival’s two-day format.

“My Heàrts Series of paintings delivers the quick communication of an icon; a universal symbol of passion, love and zeal,” said McRay, known as a visual artist of all genres and mediums, who parlays his passion into art education and art philanthropy. “That thought combined with iconic symbols from Cary inspired the Cary Collection.”

Each painting in the collection celebrates historical and present-day hallmarks of Cary chosen as festival themes by the Town of Cary Parks and Recreation Department. They are: 

  • The Page-Walker Arts and History Center – A historic house museum and former hotel built in 1868 by the town’s founder, Allison Francis Page.
  • The Cary Town Crier – Every year since the early 80s, John Webster – dressed in red as the official Town Crier and his wife, Mary – travels to Cary from the town’s sister city in Markham, Canada, to welcome folks to the festival.
  • The Little Jerry Doll – Handmade doll created and named for festival creator, Jerry Miller, a Cary documentary artist.
  • The Fallen Clock – The signature downtown Cary clock tipped over during construction around Academy Street, becoming the talk of the town. The clock was erected in 1986 by Cary rotary clubs.

“We are excited to have Eric McRay as our feature artist this year,” said Adam Bell, Festival and Events Supervisor with the Town of Cary and Lazy Daze coordinator. “His work in the Cary community with the Cary Arts Center has made Eric recognizable among Cary residents and a perfect fit for our feature artist designation this year.”

Over 60,000 people are expected to attend Lazy Daze Festival this year. Joining fun festival activities for families will be more than 300 artists from 14 states, 30 food vendors, and a beer garden created by a cultural artist for the arts and crafts festival.

McRay has a BFA from the Maryland Institute College of Art and has been exhibiting his work since 1987. In 1998, he open a studio at ArtSpace in downtown Raleigh. Selected as one of the favorite artists in Raleigh’s Downtowner Magazine this year, McRay has shares his passion for art on the national level appearing art related radio shows and podcasts. He has regular exhibitions of his work across the state. Locally,  he has partnered with the Cary Arts Center where he regularly offers art classes and has a philanthropic relationship with several local organizations including Cary Art Loop and the town of Cary.

To view the Cary Collection and to learn more about the art maestro, Eric McRay visit

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Phyllis Coley
Phyllis D. Coley is CEO/Publisher of Spectacular Magazine and Host of Spectacular Magazine Radio Show. With a B.A. in English from NCCU, the Durham native began her professional career as Promotions/Marketing Director for New York City’s WKTU-FM. While at the radio station, Coley discovered the rap group Kid ‘n Play and managed them for five years, guiding their music and movie careers to success. Moving back to Durham, Coley produced a nationally syndicated television show, The Electric Factory, while working as News Director for FOXY 107/104. In April 2002, recognizing a void in highlighting the achievements of African Americans, she started her own business publishing ACE Magazine. Coley launched Spectacular Magazine in November 2004. Recognizing the lack of pertinent and truthful information, Coley began Spectacular Magazine Radio Show in March 2009. Coley is the organizer of Durham's Annual MLK/Black History Month Parade and the Annual North Carolina Juneteenth Celebration. She currently serves on Central Children’s Home Board of Directors, Raleigh Chamber of Commerce’s Board of Advisors, as Immediate Past Secretary of the Durham Rotary Club Board of Directors and is one of the founding members of the Triangle United Way’s African American Leadership Initiative.

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