Colin Darke

Colin Darke

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Born and raised in Metro-Detroit, Colin is a lifelong learner and storyteller. His personal motto is To Learn, To Lead, To Serve (he may have stolen that motto from some college, but the message stuck). He has had success as a contemporary watercolorist, author, and fintech executive and adviser (legal/compliance stuff).

His first love is fine arts (technically his first love is his family). He draws every day just for the love of the art form. He received comprehensive training in watercolor painting and has developed a unique and powerful style. In describing his art, The Detroit News said Colin employs “a bold, colorful style reminiscent of the German Expressionists.” He shows extensively throughout New York and Michigan (currently showing at The Carr Center from 9/15/2017 to 10/15/2017), and in 2010 Rackstraw Downes, a 2009 MacArthur Fellow, selected one of Colin’s pieces for the highly competitive 18th Annual National Juried Exhibition at the Bowery Gallery in New York City. Colin has also illustrated for the Detroit Institute of Arts and the Museum of Contemporary Arts-Detroit. Colin is also on the Board of Directors for one of the oldest art galleries in Detroit, the Detroit Artists Market.

His second love is using his legal expertise to counsel RocketLoans and other fintech ventures. RocketLoans is a Detroit-based fintech company that makes lending radically simple. RocketLoans is a sister company to Quicken Loans.  He also works with the Irvine, California based fintech company Fluid — a social credit card. And Colin helped form and is on the Board of Governors of the fintech think tank the Online Lenders Policy Institute, which among other things host the highly influential OLPI Policy Summit in DC.

His third love …okay, that got old quick — there is not an order to his loves (except family, family is first). He loves a lot of things, and because we only live once pushes himself to fully experience a lot of different pursuits. He loves to write and has been published in both legal and fine arts based publications. For fine arts, check out the highly influential Brooklyn based art blog Hyperallergic, the arts section of The Huffington Post, the Art:21 Magazine , which is part of the Peabody Award winning PBS Art:21 – Art in the 21st Century project, and the new Detroit-based arts journal infinite mile . For legal …email him if you actually want to read that “stuff.”

Art in the City: Detroit Visionaries

September 19, 2017

I was honored to be a part of The Carr Center Gallery’s first group show at its new location in the heart of Detroit– Art in the City: Detroit Visionaries.  The artists participating were, among others, Colin Darke, Lazar Favors, Tyrone Dickey, Priscilla Phifer, Judy Bowman, Nathaniel Haris Muhammad, Onzie Deandre Norman, Margarita Beale, Anna Schaap, and Kelly Darke (my sister and collaborator).

Geno Harris was recently named curator for The Carr Center’s downtown hub at 1505 Woodward Ave.  This gallery space is amazing, and with this show Geno said, “With Detroit Visionaries I wanted to combine artists from different disciplines and stages in their careers and in doing so it has given way to an exuberant mix of original works that are meaningful and thought provoking very much in keeping with the Carr Center’s new mantra: Inspire. Entertain. Challenge. Educate.”

Fun video from opening night!

Looking at Yesterday

September 15, 2017


“Looking at Yesterday”

12” x 12”

Watercolor on paper


Trapped Bird

September 15, 2017

“Trapped Bird,” 12″ x 12″

Watercolor on paper.


Hope and Stillness

September 15, 2017


“Hope + Stillness,” 6″ x 6″, Gouache on board

This was part of a series of painting that I did called, “Hope against Odds.”   In 2010, a companion piece to this one was juried into a highly competitive are show in New York Cite– the 18th Annual National Juried Exhibition at the Bowery Gallery, and the Juror was a 2009 MacArthur Fellow (Rackstraw Downes).

Hope Against Odds

September 15, 2017

“Hope Against Odds,” 6″ x 6″

Gouache on board

Hope against Odds (sold)



September 15, 2017

Fear (sold)


22″ x 30″ , watercolor on paper

Currently showing at The Carr Center’s

Art in the City: Detroit Visionaries



September 12, 2017

“Gibberish” 24″ x 18″

Acrylic on board (and acrylic pen)



Gibberish inspired by the Mad Hare in Alice in Wonderland. The hummingbird in the background is a motif from my Hope Against Odds series.