BOSTON (CBS) – What Adam O’Day loves about Boston is simple: the unique views and the people who live here.
“People have that Boston pride to the max,” O’Day told WBZ-TV.
The Tennessee native and former Navy engineer came here 15 years ago to attend the Art Institute of Boston. He credits his first big break to Mayor Marty Walsh.
“It was actually one of Marty Walsh’s first things he did in office was to have a gift for visiting politicians and dignitaries. I just entered a painting of the Mass Pike with the Prudential and some landmarks and was like, ‘That pretty much sums it up.’ ”
And just like that, O’Day’s painting had beat out dozens of other artists for Boston’s Portrait of a City competition.
The opportunities kept coming: murals near Fenway Park, on iconic streets in Beacon Hill and more than 100 art shows in galleries from Provincetown to Cambridge.
“It opened a ton of doors for me. I think this is probably how I got this,” he said, referring to perhaps his most impressive work: a 35-foot vivid mural inside the TD Garden, a space he considers a modern cathedral.
He finished this painting in three days with just one brush and plenty of yellow and green to represent the Bruins and the Celtics.
“People always ask me what is it like to be a Boston artist or someone working in Boston and I feel like it’s the same for me, for you, for anybody. You have to set yourself apart by working extra hard and by doing something that’s truly your own because it is so small, it is so hard to make your way here. It’s not like New York where there’s endless possibilities. It’s like a tiny little nucleus. It’s a grind for sure, but I love it,” he told WBZ.
O’Day’s work is available for purchase in his online gallery.