"The view From Chester," The Philadelphia Inquirer April 5, 1992
"TANGIBLE REVERBERATIONS" MAY 28 - JUNE 26, 2004|
Working in a unique medium and visual style, Pennsylvania sculptor Courtlandt Craig displays a compelling artistic temperament. Creating his sculptures out of sandstone, which gives the works a natural-looking texture and brown hue, Mr. Craig utilizes this medium's attributes in his extraordinary works. Occupying a workiong space between figurative and symbolic art. Mr. Craig offers viewers an intricately layered array of sculptures. All of the works have the same gorgeous texture whether the subject matter is nature or society. Furthermore, the medium of sandstone lends the works a richness and organic quality that some other types of sculptures cannot claim.
The carvings in Mr. Craig's sculptures are very precise, sharply rendered in a delicate material. Mr. Craig is highly adept at crafting features into the sandstone, often to create the impression of faces. Every work maintains a level of mystery, however, because Mr. Craig has composed his artworks to facilitate interpretation and multiple viewpoints. An initial impression of Mr. Craig's sculptures might inspire a viewer towards a particular aspect of the sculptures, for example, the carvings. Yet further time reveals other impressive characteristics of the art, such as the composition. Ultimately, Mr. Craig's art is highly exemplary in numerous ways, but also quite individualistic. Few sculptors work with the combination of medium, style and concepts as Mr. Craig. This is what makes these sculptures so extraordinary and remarkable.
Mr. Craig's art truly has to be witnessed to be fully appreciated. While photographic images may reveal some of the quality of appearance, it is up close, in person, where a viewer gets the best experience of the physical presence of the sculptures, as well as the richly textured surfaces. When viewed this way, the impression made by the art is memorable and magnificent. Mr. Craig is an exceptionally original sculptor who enacts his own artistic vision.
Employing a style reminiscent of early Egyptian works, are the artist's representations of Mankind, "Modern Man" and "Modern Woman." Examples of his ability to speak through his work with revealing social commentaries include "Somebody's Watchin' You," "The Fall of the Dollar Bill" and "Sad Indian." In his work, "The Big Dipper," Craig shows a large bird dipping into the earth and pulling out a worrn. However, the work forms the figure seven. Upon careful observation, the viewer will see peace signs and symbols, the constellation and the names of seven nations symbolizing their mystical and astrological connection.
A self-taught artist, Craig had never sculpted until slightly more than ten years ago, when he and several friends sighted a UFO in New Jersey. A profound experience that changed his life is portrayed in his work, "I Saw a UFO." Thc idea of the oneness of humanity and the truth of life around him dominate Craig's work.
With his very first piece of sculpture, "Freedom, Justice and Equality," he was awarded first prize at the Media, PA Art Show. He returned to the scene of his first award ten years later, garnering second prize for his current entry. Recognized for his achievement, he has been twice nominated for the Governor's Award for Excellence in the Arts in 1980 and 1982.
Another aspect of Craig's artistic achievement is the creation of "pholages," a collage of magazine pictures and photos expressing a central theme. Composition, power, and smooth flowing transitions mark his pholages.
Upon the suggestion of his many fans, Craig sent a copy of his collage, "The Nuclear Fear," to President Reagan, receiving a personal note of appreciation from the White House. Another pholage graced the walls of Mayor Goode's office in Philadelphia.
Active in affairs of the DeShong Museum, where he is a current board member, Craig was named "Outstanding Young Man of Arnerica" by the National Jaycees in 1987 in recognition of outstanding professional achievemcnt, superior leadership ability and exceptional community service.
Craig's many awards include a perennial first prize for Christmas murals, decorating the doors of the Operating Room at Chester-Crozer Medical Center where he is employed as an orderly. He has executed commissioned works for the hospital and exhibited widely in Philadelphia and the Delaware Vallcy area, including museum shows and special exhibits.
Much of my inspiration comes from the Creator. I see an image within a piece of scrap sandstone and release it with the aid of a simple kitchen knife, a nutpick and painstaking hand smoothing. I delight in having the viewer of a piece look ever closer to see other images encompassed within the main theme, to think and share my delight in discovering multiple imagery within a simply stated sculpture, representing the unseen complexity obtainable from a humble piece of scrap sandstone and from what seems so simple in the life around us.
· Crozer-Chester Arts & Crafts Show, 1976, 3rd prize in Oil Painting
· 11th Annual Arts & Crafts Show, Media, PA, 1976-77, 1st prize in Sculpture: "Modern Man"
· Linvilla Orchards Art Show, 1976, 1st prize in Sculpture
· One Man Art Show, Merabash Museum, New Egypt, NJ, 1977
· 15th Annual National Art Show, Atlantic City, 1978, 3rd prize in Sculpture
· Black History Month, Widener University, Chester, PA 1978, lecture and exhibition
· One Man Show, Chester Art Guild "Open House", 1979
· Nomination for "Governor's Award", 1980
· Exhibition in "The Galerie", Media, PA, 1980
· Fourth Annual Black Culture Show, Widener University, Chester, PA, 1981, lecture and exhibition of Sculptures and Collages
· Exhibition, Springfield Mall, Springfield, PA 1981
· Exhibition, Art Appreciation Show, Drexel University, Philadelphia, PA, 1981
· Videotape of works on Southeast CableVision, "Every Day Life", 1981
· Nomination, "Governor's Award for Excellence in the Arts", 1982
· Exhibition, Springfield Mall, Springfield, PA, 1982
· Exhibition, Chester Tricentennial, William Penn's Landing, 1982
· Exhibition, Crozer-Chester Medical Center, for United Way Campaign, 1982
· Exhibition, Jack Rose's Custom Cabinetry and Accessories, City Line Avenue, Philadelphia, PA, 1982
· Presentation of Cultural Grammy Award to Aretha Franklin at the Valley Forge Music Fair, October 22, 1982
· Exhibition, The Impulse Club, Philadelphia, PA, for the benefit of Black History Month, February 21, 1983
· Lecture and Exhibition, Black History Month, Delaware County Community College, Media, PA, March 1983
· Exhibition, "Spring Comes Alive with Art" sponsored by the Urban League of Philadelphia, Bourse Building, Philadelphia, PA, 1983
· "Spring Harmony Art Show and Concert" sponsored by The Junior Women's Auxiliary of Crozer-Chester Medical Center, May 15, 1983, C.C.M.C. Hall, annex of Crozer-Chester Medical Center
· Sent a copy of Collage entitled "Nu-Clear Fear" to the White House, May 15, 1983
· Exhibition, Crozer-Chester Medical Center, Chester, PA, August 1983, for United Way Campaign
· Exhibition, "Open House", Chester Art Guild, Chester, PA, October 1983
· Exhibition, Springfield Mall, Springfield, PA, September 1983
· Exhibition, Annual Women's Day Luncheon, Walber's on the Delaware, for Mt. Olive Church, March 10, 1984· Spring Harmony Art Show and Concert sponsored by The Junior Women's Auxiliary of C.C.M.C., April 1, 1984. C.C.M.C Hall, the Annex of C.C.M.C.
· The 1st Annual Exhibit and Contest of The National Arts Program At Crozer Chester Medical Center October 24-November 4, 2005
· The 2nd Annual Exhibit and Contest of The National Arts Program At Crozer Chester Medical Center October 9-20, 2006
· Courtlandt L. Craig "Artist For The New World" celebrates 30 years in the arts. His sculpture entitled "Modern Man" won 1st prize at the Eleventh Annual Media Merchants Art Exhibit and Craft Show, in Media Pa. June 12, 1976
·The 3rd Annual Exhibit of The National Art Program of Crozer-Keystone Health System. October 13-24, 2008 collage-pholage,
· Dr. Martin Luther King's Mural, Commemorative Committee and Calvary Baptist Church, Chester, PA, sponsored by Paul Downie of Wallingford, PA. May 2009
· Art New England Magazine, Artist Directory, Contempaorary Art and Culture, sandstone sculpture, (Finergy) fishing for energy. September/October 2010, Vol. 31 Issue 5
·The 4th Exhibit and Awards of The National Arts Program for Crozer-Keystone Health System. October 11-22, 2010 Art work will be on display in the Clark Center at Crozer-Chester Medical Center, Upland PA.
·Art on the Avenue of the States - Raw Gallery Artists December 16, 2011 Sandstone Sculptures exhibit
·Art on the Avenue of the States- Mardi Gras Artists February 24, 2012 Sandstone Sculptures exhibit
·The Celebration of Black History. The Delaware County Historical Society. Presents " Heritage and Traditions" Sandstone sculptures, paintings, and collages. at the DCHS Museum of Delaware County History 408 Ave. of the States Chester,PA February 1 though April 20, 2012