Craig Carver | Temporal Existence with a Disciplined Perspective

March 12 - June 19, 2021

Visual Arts Center | Everist Gallery 

Step into the beautiful world of Craig Carver in the moving exhibition Temporal Existence with a Disciplined Perspective. Craig Carver is one of the most successful and prolific painters from South Dakota - his work and influence is nationwide. He has artwork in many notable collections including the New Museum in New York City. The Washington Pavilion is fortunate to house several Craig Carver pieces of art. Curator Cody Henrichs is excited to present the exhibition, “I think Craig’s work is stunning and deserves to be seen by the public as often as possible.”

Visit the Everist Gallery featuring Craig Carver's works through June 19.

View Visual Arts Center Hours

1954: Born to Bernard and Charlotte Carver in Sioux Falls, South Dakota
1968: Craig was classified as a special art student at Sioux Falls College while he was still in high school 
1970-72 Assistant to supervisor of art programming for the Civic Fine Arts Association 
1969-1972: Private student under Mel Spinar, Professor of Art, South Dakota State University
1972: Spent six months in Europe
1973-74: Artist in residence, Michigan Artrain, Rock Mountain states tour and Michigan tour
1974: Studied art history and museum administration at the University of South Dakota
1974-76 Tour director for Michigan Artrain tour of Iowa, Minnesota, North and South Dakota and Wisconsin sponsored by the Upper Midwest Arts Council Minneapolis, Minnesota 
1976-77: Artist in residence, Michigan Council for the Arts 
1977: Project Coordinator, survey of corporate art collections and publication of business art inventory
1979: Graduated from Minneapolis College of Art and Design, with a BFA  
1980: Spent in New York studio painting 
1980-89: Artists Coordinator Michigan Arts Council Detroit, Michigan 
1982: Awarded National Endowment for the Arts Painting Fellowship 
1984-87: Commission member of Art in the Stations, the Detroit People Mover
1989: Traveled to Israel for study at St. George’s College Jerusalem  
1990: Ordained Deacon, Metropolitan Community Church of Detroit  
1992: Died on January 31 at the home of his parents in Sioux Falls, South Dakota 

Afghanistan seems too far away. The Nile is out the question. Marco Polo is the concern. The travels, the trip, the goal is more to cross a continent to see what else there is. If it’s not the western what could it possibly be? Perhaps all you find is the sameness. A daily island life everywhere. People react; they have leaders and outcasts, but can live in the fringes. Can you move in and out of society at will? The fringe comes to a matter of degree. To live there is not to express it, but to express it demands occupation. It has to come down to solitude, the loud music and the desire to move from table to table. People asking advice. The aspiration is to have people clamoring for opinions. 

I would hope that someone looking at my work would immediately think, “What in the world was going on in the artist’s head when he painted that?”

I’ve always thought of my paintings in relationship to the movements of the earth such as plate tectonics and earthquakes---the whole idea of meeting bodies, the relationship the elements have upon each other.  

It has always perplexed me how Picasso refused to assume an absolute abstraction. The work (is) always referential, don’t want to paint grids yet. I feel compelled to put a stable structure into the process. The idea of introducing objects into paintings holds a fascination for me because of the personal revelation and exposure that is missing in my painting. When feminists started doing referential art it was accepted as hopefully a stepping-stone to something that while remaining feminist would not need to rely on genitalia. 

I was totally trained in abstract painting and have a large portfolio on non-objective work, but by 1978, I was compelled to introduce “subject” matter. It was not enough to do straight figure works in “real” settings. The idea of combining contradicting elements and using the figure seemed the way to go. It allowed me to introduce very personal subject matter and still get the picture to a level of activity and interest that satisfied my earlier training.

Art should expose a temporal existence with a disciplined perspective able to be manipulated to expose the widest range of possibilities and references. In essence, the artist works to change people's view of the world.