Opening Reception for Art Exhibit
Sculptor Shows Work at BSU
By Sharleeta Swann
Extraordinary, exquisite and amazing are words that were used to describe the artwork of Dr. Randall J. Craig. Bowie State University's Department of Fine and Performing Arts hosted an opening reception on Sept. 24 to celebrate the artistry of the sculptor. Many gathered to partake in the celebration and could not help but be in awe of the breathtaking artworks showcased in the Amos White IV Art Gallery in the Martin Luther King Jr. building.
The reception kicked off with the introduction of Dr. Craig provided by Prof. E. Clarke Mester, guest curator at the event and lifelong friend of Dr. Craig. "I met Craig at Norfolk State University in 1975. He has been a major influence on more people than I can count," Mester said.
Following the introduction, Assistant Professor of Art and Gallery Director Prof. Clayton Lang, took the time to thank Dr. Craig for allowing his artwork to be showcased at Bowie State University, as well as thank the guest for attending the event. The crowd then mixed and mingled, discussing the sculptures and their thoughts on the talent of its creator. Amongst the artwork were sculptures of Dr. Craig's son and daughter. There was even a sculpture of professional tennis player Venus Williams.
BSU President Mickey L. Burnim and Mrs. LaVera Burnim were also in attendance. "This is an outstanding show, exquisite show. I hope his work would serve as further inspiration for the students of Fine and Performing Arts," President Burnim said.
Sheila Miller, a senior at Bowie, shared her thoughts on the exhibit, "It's an honor to have the talents of Dr. Craig showcased at Bowie State. As an African-American artist I would like to thank him for his major contributions to the cultural life of America."
Dr. Craig captured the essence of life. The lifelike sculptures expressed emotion and could be mistaken as human. However, that's exactly what the artworks represent: human experiences, everyday living frozen in time and produced in sculpted form.
Dr. Craig used several different materials to create the artworks; such as plaster, hydrocal, fiberglass and resin on wood, and mixed media. Of course, all of the sculptures were done over a period of time, some even dated back to 1984.
"In general, it takes months to produce one sculpture," Dr. Craig said, adding that "my philosophy of art is that anyone can learn to draw like the Picassos. Many people say I can't do that, I say yes you can. A person can have the skill to do an art and the ability to master that art. If they felt that their not the best at that art, it's only because they haven't mastered it yet."
If visitors took a liking to a particular sculpture, or perhaps several, any work of art displayed can be reproduce in the form of a 13" x 19" poster. The posters will be signed by Dr. Craig and the money raised will be put towards a scholarship in the name of the late Marissa Thomas, a former Graphic Design (VCDMA).