During the last three years, David Orr has been able to focus exclusively on his art projects – having retired from careers in architectural design, facilities management, and web development/user experience. Besides art, Orr is hooked on education. He has his B.A. degree from Johns Hopkins University in Baltimore, Maryland, and a Master of Architecture degree from Washington University in St. Louis, Missouri. Recently, at the age of 70, Orr completed a Master of Liberal Arts in Media and Popular Culture at Henderson State University in my hometown, Arkadelphia, Arkansas – as well as a program in Stand Up Comedy with the Second City Performance Center in Chicago. Now, at the age of 71, David has just been admitted to the 2023 incoming low residency MFA program at the School of the Art Institute of Chicago. Hardly afraid of leaving his comfort zone, Orr hopes to take his writing, illustration, and graphic narratives into new dimensions.
Born and raised in a small college town in the U.S. South, Orr grew up among raconteurs who often invoked the Southern tall tale form, as well as magical realism and surrealism. Aspects of these traditions appear in both his writings and illustrations. David sees his work as grounded in fun and in a desire to show how differences bring people together. David finds that he resolves most problems with graphic narrative layouts in his head while taking his two bull terriers for walks. If he could do life over again, he would arrange to be born in an era that knows how to travel at the speed of light. Yet, he is happy with who he is and where he is in his life adventure.