A former Burnfoot school pupil has been nominated for muralist of the year in his adopted home of Dallas, Texas.
Teri Steve Hunter, 42, moved to America ten years ago after being invited to teach art at Faith Family Academy, of Oakcliff, following a successful visit to the school the previous year.
He explained: “It was an email from a school in Dallas that initially brought me over to the States.
“They wanted a mural on one of the exterior walls there so I went over in the summer of 2004 and painted it.
“They invited me back for more mural work that year and eventually they invited me over to teach art at their school.”
Steve initially thought he would be in the States for three years, but he got slightly more than he bargained for.
“I came over to Dallas in 2005 with $50 in my pocket and the clothes on my back and really enjoyed teaching,” he said. After the first year they hired another art teacher, and little did I know that she would later become my wife!”
Steve married Mischelle in 2008 and now lives in the Cedars area of Dallas with his stepson, 16-year-old CJ.
However, his love of art began a lot closer to home.
Steve went to Burnfoot school, before moving to Stirches with his parents Billy and Doreen and sister Sharon.
His parents are now retired and live in Weensland where they used to run The Green Shop, which has been passed down to Sharon and her husband.
Steve got his qualifications at Hawick High, Newcastle College of Art and Design and Glasgow School of Art.
He set up his first mural business, Hunter Creates, in Gateshead in 1999.
“I always wanted to paint murals, but setting it up in Gateshead back in 1999 was very difficult,” he said. “Nobody else was really doing it and everyone was saying it wouldn’t work. It definitely wasn’t easy but I was stubborn enough to keep going and hope something would happen.”
Steve continues to run Hunter Creates many miles from where it all first started, and his perseverance is starting to pay off. “Now, after four years, the commissions are bigger and people are coming to me instead of me chasing them down,” he added.
To vote for Steve in the DFW Art Awards go to www.dfwartawards.com/