On Sunday, June 1, 2014, the Beach Institute will open its only exhibit in the 2014 series with the continual theme A New Vision for the Arts. “Movement: A Dynamic Expression of Jazz and Dance” is an exhibit of works by self-taught freelance artist and motivational speaker Carl M. Crawford. The opening reception will take place at 3pm in the West Gallery of the Beach Institute with a gallery talk by the artist.
“Movement: A Dynamic Expression of Jazz and Dance” is the title of Mr. Crawford’s exhibition, and it is a series that will consist of 20 or more images (originals and prints). A self-taught, free-lance artist, Crawford has developed a unique style that he calls “Collage Illusion™.” He creates his pieces by cutting out colors from magazine articles and assembling them on glass to form his desired image, giving his audience the illusion of an oil painting. Using only donated magazines, Collage Illusion™ is “recycling at its finest.”
Crawford uses this technique to capture the movement and feel of Jazz music and expressive dance forms. Collage Illusion™ has won Crawford numerous awards throughout the nation. The following are a partial listing of the recognition he has received. Crawford was the official Congo Square Poster artist for the 2012 New Orleans Jazz Festival. He was the featured artist at the 2010 Chicago Jazz Festival and named Best in Show (2010) and Most Unique (2011) for the New Orleans Jazz & Heritage Festival. He earned Honorable Mention for the Piccolo Spoleto Art Fair in Charleston, SC, and was listed as Best in Category at Chicago’s Gold Coast Art Fair and Best in Mixed Media at Glencoe, Illinois Art Fair. At Virginia Beach’s Board Walk Art Festival he was awarded Best in Category. Crawford earned the Juror Award at Shreveport’s Red River Revel, and the 1st Place Award at the Zora Neale Hurston Festival of the Arts in Eatonville, Florida in 2010-2011. At the Charlotte Fine Arts Show he earned Best in Show 2012 and Best in Category 2013 as well as the Award of Excellence.
“Everything has its own creative beauty. Life is creativity manifested. As an artist, my desire is to reflect the beauty of the human experience by giving form to my own creative vision.”
That’s the message Carl M. Crawford shares – and the message he lives. A native of Columbia, SC, Carl began his artistic journey as a very young child. He was influenced by the works of Romare Bearden, Jacob Lawrence, and the signature paintings of Ernie Barnes. Crawford won his first art award as a fifth grader at Columbia’s Providence Hospital. At that moment, the purpose for his life was set.
Crawford is also a motivational speaker and currently travels throughout the nation promoting his work. Drawing his subject matter from the rich heritage of African-American culture, Crawford’s primary desire has always been to have his “slice-of-life” works touch a memory in people. His attention to the smallest detail makes each of his works a collector’s item.
This event is free and open to the public on certain days throughout the exhibition. Funding for the Crawford Exhibit is provided in part by the City of Savannah.
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