Tag Archives: Creative Residency

Dee Craig’s latest mural in Northern Ireland

Lee Smithey had the opportunity to meet up in Belfast, Northern Ireland with Dee Craig a couple of weeks ago. Dee is the artist who painted the mural on the Science Center here at Swarthmore. (See photos, video, and more.)

Here is his latest piece on the Newtownards Road in East Belfast!

Craig Achieve mural

Dee sends warm greetings to all of his friends at Swarthmore!

 

Muralist Dee Craig Leaves His Mark at Swarthmore

by Sam Cleaves ’14
November 26, 2013
Swarthmore News and Information Office
Dee Craig mural
Artist Dee Craig stands with his mural at the southeast end of the Science Center. (photo by Annette Newman)

David “Dee” Craig, a prolific mural artist from Northern Ireland, created a large mural that is now mounted on the southeast end of the College’s Science Center.

Craig’s work was facilitated by the Mellon Tri-College Creative Residencies Program. Supported by the Andrew W. Mellon Foundation, the program supports faculty of Swarthmore, Haverford, and Bryn Mawr Colleges from the natural sciences, social sciences, and humanities divisions to design and implement arts residencies in association with their curricular and scholarly agendas.

From Oct. 28 to Nov. 18, Craig painted and worked out of a purpose-built studio tent adjacent to the Science Center wall that his mural now covers. Painting first in the tent and then later directly on the wall, Craig’s mural took form before the eyes of students, staff, and faculty as they went about their work or walked to their classes. Craig also participated in two public conversations about mural art, conflict, and peacebuilding in Northern Ireland, first at Swarthmore’s McCabe Library to open an exhibit of his murals in Northern Ireland and again at Bryn Mawr, for an event sponsored by the Solomon Asch Center for the Study of Ethnopolitical Conflict.

Craig hails from East Belfast and is well known internationally in mural arts circles for his work, and his pieces have often been part of initiatives to replace paramilitary murals that became common during the 30 years of open conflict known as “The Troubles.” Such “reimaging” projects are part of the ongoing and sometimes halting transformation of conflict in Northern Ireland. A renowned artist, Craig was named one of the Belfast Media Group’s top-40 artists under 40 in 2008.

Dee Craig Mural Installation at Swarthmore College from Swarthmore Peace Studies on Vimeo.

Lee Smithey, associate professor of sociology and coordinator of the Peace and Conflict Studies Program, helped arrange Craig’s stay. Smithey’s initial application to the Creative Residencies Program noted that “the making of murals is shifting the symbolic landscape to incorporate new narratives within communities, re-articulating collective identities, and beginning to minimize the martial symbols that figured so prominently during thirty years of political conflict in Northern Ireland. Murals offer opportunities for regeneration in excluded or marginalized communities and sites for re-framing memory and identity.”

Smithey feels strongly that the core values of the program were successfully put into practice. “The College is fundamentally about empowering people through learning and sharing ideas,” he says, “and this residency has been very rich on both counts for many of us.”

deelee
Lee Smithey, associate professor of sociology and coordinator of the Peace and Conflict Studies Program (left) with Craig. (photo by Annette Newman)

The mural itself stands as testament to core global ambitions of the Swarthmore community. “We have tried to address the past, present, and future of the College,” Craig says, “and convey aspirations, hopes, and values that faculty, staff, and students expressed in planning discussions before I arrived.”

The goal was to erect a mural that expresses the College’s commitment to scholarly pursuits on behalf of the collective good, or what President Rebecca Chopp described in her inaugural address as “educat[ing] in a way that makes possible the setting aright and setting anew of the world.”

“It seems to me that Swarthmore is quite focused on learning in order to make a positive contribution in the world,” Craig says, “and I hope the mural expresses that.”

Throughout the month-long residency, Craig visited with seven classes across the three colleges. Students were also able to learn with him by collaborating on the project.

Kathryn Barron ’16, from Oak View, Calif., attended the initial lecture at McCabe and proceeded to sign up to paint. “I was amazed at how many people were contributing in various ways to the mural,” she says. “Painting was really fun, and I did learn a great deal about the process of putting up such a large work of art.”

Barron describes how, like the content of the image itself, the process of creating the piece united the community in the completion of a common goal. “I would say one of the greatest things I learned from Mr. Craig and the mural project was how art can be used to pull people together who normally wouldn’t necessarily cooperate on something creative,” she says. “You don’t hear about that kind of thing too often, that art is inherently collaborative.”

Craig had much to teach, but he doesn’t hesitate to concede that during his time at the College, he learned a great deal about Swarthmore and about his practice.

“Swarthmore feels like a very positive place,” he says. “It has been inspiring.” He elaborates that the local techniques for painting murals in Philadelphia are entirely new in Belfast. Paul Downie, executive director of the Community Arts Center in Wallingford, Pa., provided training and consultation on the process of painting on cloth panels that are subsequently adhered to a wall.

“It’s a new style of mural painting for us,” Craig says. “In this piece, I have fused this new format with traditional mural painting. I look forward to taking this process back and introducing it to Northern Ireland mural culture in ways that can help promote cross-community cohesion.”

Craig’s residency was truly an exchange. Just as Craig shared his unique experience and talent with Swarthmore, the College was able to offer him training in a new mural painting technique. Perhaps most importantly, new relationships and networks have been established that will support peacebuilding and creative arts both in the U.S. and in Northern Ireland.

Video of Dee Craig mural installation on campus

A few weeks ago, we posted a video of the collage installation by Dee Craig and Paul Downie on the second floor of Kohlberg Hall. Now, there is also a video of the mural installation on the side of the Science Center that was part of Craig’s Mellon Creative Residency this semester.

Dee Craig Mural Installation at Swarthmore College from Swarthmore Peace Studies on Vimeo.

 

 

Mural launch at Swarthmore College

Mellon Creative Residency Mural Launch

Tuesday, November 12, 2013

12:00 Noon

Science Center Wall closest to DuPont Parking Lot (Directions)

DeeCraigNov8-36_lo_reso
Photo credit: Annette Newman

The large mural being painted on Swarthmore’s campus by Mellon Creative Resident, David “Dee” Craig, will be launched on TUESDAY, November 12 at 12:00 NOON on the southeast corner of the Swarthmore College Science Center (next to the DuPont Parking Lot).

The planning and creation of this mural has actively involved students, faculty, and staff. Come join us in thanking the artist and many others who have made this project a success. Light food will be available in the studio tent at the wall (where we will gather in the event of rain).

Dee Craig, an experienced artist from Belfast, Northern Ireland, specializes in large-scale mural projects and has been involved in community art for over 20 years. Throughout the month-long residency, Craig has visited with classes across the Tri-College Community (Swarthmore, Haverford, and Bryn Mawr) and displayed an exhibit of his work and mural art in Northern Ireland in McCabe Library.

Craig’s mural marks this year’s 150th anniversary of the founding of Swarthmore College, and the celebration of 125 years since the first higher education course in Peace and Conflict Studies was taught at Swarthmore College.

The Mellon Creative Residency Mural Launch event and the exhibition of his work in the atrium of McCabe Library are open to the public. For more information about the residency, visit http://bit.ly/swatcraig To follow the residency as it develops, visit http://bit.ly/craigstory

Dee Craig-15_sm
Photo credit: Annette Newman

Public Conversation with mural artist Dee Craig

We would like to thank the crowd of over 50 swarthmore faculty, staff, and students who attended the public conversation with Dee Craig on Thursday afternoon in McCabe Library.  We appreciated the thoughtful dialogue and we look forward to much more of the same over the coming weeks of Dee’s residency at the Tri-Colleges.

Many thanks to Susan Dreher, Tom Bonner, and Annette Newman who worked so hard to make the exhibit a reality.

For more information about the residency, visit http://bit.ly/swatcraig and follow the residency as it develops at http://bit.ly/craigstory

Video of Collage Installation in Kohlberg Hall

As part of the Mellon Creative Residency that we are sponsoring, Paul Downie of the Community Arts Center near campus introduced Dee Craig to a mural arts technique yesterday by creating a collage on the second floor of Kohlberg Hall.

You can continue to follow the residency as it develops at http://bit.ly/craigstory

Mellon Creative Residency Collage Installation at Swarthmore College from Swarthmore Peace Studies on Vimeo.

Follow the Tri-College Creative Residency via Storify on our blog.

You can follow developments in the Tri-College Creative Residency via this blog post. More information about the residency, including upcoming events is available at http://bit.ly/swatcraig.

You may also follow the residency directly at http://bit.ly/craigstory

 

Northern Ireland Mural Artist begins Creative Residency at the Tri-Colleges

As students, faculty, and staff return from Fall Break, they will be joined by a visiting mural artist from Belfast, Northern Ireland. David ‘Dee’ Craig will take up a Mellon Creative Residency for one month during the fall semester 2013.

David Dee Craig Exhibit

Mr. Craig’s visit follows a visit to Swarthmore College by the Bogside Artists in 2008 and will feature a photo exhibit in McCabe library, public talks, a range of class visits, an indoor installation, a large outdoor mural installation, and a partnership with the City of Philadelphia Mural Arts Program.

Download a flyer or postcard (front) (back)

INDOOR COLLAGE INSTALLATION

Wednesday, October 23

Swarthmore College

The first event of the residency will involve Mr. Craig working with Paul Downie, local mural artist and Director of the Community Arts Center in Wallingford. Mr. Craig and Mr. Downie will install a collage mural in the Sociology and Anthropology wing of the second floor of Kohlberg Hall on October 23.

NORTHERN IRELAND MURAL EXHIBIT IN McCABE LIBRARY

Thursday, October 24, 4:15 p.m.

McCabe Library Atrium, Swarthmore College

On Thursday, October 24, we will open a photo exhibit of Mr. Craig’s mural art in Northern Ireland in the atrium of McCabe Library. Visitors will be able to view Mr. Craig’s work in Northern Ireland and learn more about the relationship of mural arts with conflict, memory, identity, and peacebuilding in the region.

Prof. Lee Smithey will conduct a public interview with the artist at 4:15 in the McCabe Library atrium. This event is open to the public, and a reception will follow.

You can also learn more about mural arts in Northern Ireland by visiting http://bit.ly/troubledwalls and listening to a recent radio documentary on the subject from BBC Radio 4.

BBC murals radio

MURAL ON CAMPUS

October 28 – November 7

Swarthmore College

Mr. Craig will paint a large mural on canvases that will be mounted on a prepared surface on the southeast end of the Science Center. The artist will paint in a tent that is being erected near the wall, and in the spirit of public art, students, faculty and staff will have the opportunity to engage with him as they pass the tent while he is painting. Several students have applied for spots to work with the artist on the creation of the mural.

Mr. Craig brings his skills and experience to our campus from the oldest continuous mural arts tradition in the world while also exploring the techniques and style of the mural arts scene in Philadelphia. Students, staff, and faculty met on three occasions during the fall semester to offer input into the content of the mural. We appreciate the collaborative process that Mr. Craig has encouraged, we look forward to seeing how he will interpret our community visually, and we hope the residency provides an opportunity for mural making in a new context.

David "Dee" Craig postcard

ANOTHER PUBLIC CONVERSATION WITH THE ARTIST

Monday, November 11, 4:15 p.m.

Carpenter Library, Room B21, Bryn Mawr College

“Murals and conflict transformation: A conversation with artist Dee Craig”

For anyone who missed the opportunity to hear the first public interview with Mr. Craig at Swarthmore, we will have the opportunity of another public conversation with him on Monday, November 11 at 4:15 p.m. in Carpenter Library, Room B21 at Bryn Mawr College.

This event is sponsored by the Solomon Asch Center for the Study of Ethnopolitical Conflict.

See directions to Bryn Mawr College and a campus map.

MURAL LAUNCH

Tuesday, November 12, 12:00 p.m.

Swarthmore College

Please join us at the southeast corner of the Science Center on Tuesday, November 12 at noon for a mid-day “launch” of the  new mural on Swarthmore’s campus.

TRI-COLLEGE CLASS VISITS

Haverford College, Bryn Mawr College, Swarthmore College

Throughout the month-long residency, Dee Craig will visit with nine classes across the Tri-Colleges.

ABOUT THE ARTIST

dee_craig_smMr. Craig hails from East Belfast, but he has painted murals across Northern Ireland. His work represents the ongoing transformation of conflict in Northern Ireland, which remains significantly divided and continues to struggle with its contentious and often violent past while pursuing a sustainable and peaceful future. Prof. Smithey’s application to the Creative Residencies Program noted that “the making of murals is shifting the symbolic landscape to incorporate new narratives within communities, re-articulating collective identities, and beginning to minimize the martial symbols that figured so prominently during 30 years of political conflict in Northern Ireland. Murals offer opportunities for regeneration in excluded or marginalized communities and sites for re-framing memory and identity.”

Mr. Craig represented Northern Ireland at the 41st Smithsonian Folklife Festival in Washington D.C. in 2007, where he painted a 30ft high mural on the National Mall depicting Belfast’s industrial history. His work has been commissioned by the Ulster Museum and numerous community organizations across Northern Ireland. In 2008, he was named among the ‘Top 40 under 40’ by the Belfast Media Group as one of “The next wave of Northern Ireland’s leaders…the post ceasefire generation, which, having inherited the peace process, now want to forge a prosperity process.”

ABOUT THE RESIDENCY

The residency is funded by the Andrew W. Mellon Foundation:

Supported by the Andrew W. Mellon Foundation, the Tri-College Creative Residencies Program encourages Haverford, Bryn Mawr, and Swarthmore faculty from across the three divisions-natural sciences, social sciences, and humanities-to design and implement arts residencies in conjunction with their curricular and scholarly agendas. The program takes as its primary goal the broad integration of the arts through small liberal arts college curricula, seeking particularly to stimulate the creation and enhancement of courses and broader curricular missions by supporting extended, multi-dimensional arts residencies that combine pedagogy, public presentation, and informal exchange among artists, faculty, students, the wider campus, and area communities. 

Though Mr. Craig has a burgeoning fine art career, with exhibitions in Northern Ireland, Great Britain, and California, Mr. Craig’s residency will focus on his community and mural art and will provide an opportunity for students, faculty, and staff to explore the role that public art can play in framing public issues and collective identities, including in conflict situations.

The residency was inspired by a research project based out of Swarthmore College and Hofstra University. Swarthmore Professor Lee Smithey and his colleague, Prof. Gregory Maney (Hofstra University), have been studying the changing mural arts scene in Northern Ireland. The Mural Mapping Project uses geographic information systems (GIS) technology and statistical and qualitative methods of inquiry to analyze murals and other ethnic and political displays in West Belfast and the Greater Shankill Road area, such as memorial gardens, monuments, sculptures, and other forms of public art.

PCS 125 year logo

Walton Paul Vernon logos

Made possible by The Mellon Creative Residencies Program; Peace and Conflict Studies Program, Swarthmore College; Swarthmore College Libraries; The President’s Office, Swarthmore College; The Northern Ireland Semester, Swarthmore College; Sociology and Anthropology Department, Swarthmore College; Community Arts Center; The City of Philadelphia Mural Arts Program; The Solomon Asch Center for Study of Ethnopolitical Conflict, Bryn Mawr College

An invitation to help conceptualize a mural on campus

For Swarthmore students, staff, and faculty:

As part of the Mellon-funded Tri-College Creative Residencies Program, David “Dee” Craig, a mural artist from Belfast, Northern Ireland, will come to the Tri-Colleges for a month-long residency immediately following Fall Break.

Part of the residency will involve painting a mural on our campus, and we would like to invite anyone who is interested in helping to conceptualize the content of the mural to join us for discussion on *Thursday, September 5 at 4:00 p.m. in Kohlberg 228 and on *Wednesday, September 11 at 4:00 p.m. in Kohlberg 228.

For more information on the artist and the residency, visit http://bit.ly/16WRWmQ

Stay tuned for more announcements about events related to the residency.

Smithsonian mural
Craig mural at the 2007 Smithsonian Folklife Festival

Belfast Mural Artist to take up Tri-college Creative Residency in Fall 2013

This past spring, Prof. Lee Smithey successfully applied with a range of partners to bring Belfast-based mural artist, David ‘Dee’ Craig, to the Tri-Colleges for a month-long residency during the fall semester 2013. Mr. Craig’s visit follows a visit by the Bogside Artists in 2008.

dee_craig_smMr. Craig hails from East Belfast, but he has painted murals across Northern Ireland. His work represents the ongoing transformation of conflict in Northern Ireland, which remains significantly divided and continues to struggle with its contentious and often violent past while pursuing a sustainable and peaceful future. Prof. Smithey’s application to the Creative Residencies Program noted that “the making of murals is shifting the symbolic landscape to incorporate new narratives within communities, re-articulating collective identities, and beginning to minimize the martial symbols that figured so prominently during 30 years of political conflict in Northern Ireland. Murals offer opportunities for regeneration in excluded or marginalized communities and sites for re-framing memory and identity.”

Mr. Craig represented Northern Ireland at the 41st Smithsonian Folklife Festival in Washington D.C. in 2007, where he painted a 30ft high mural on the National Mall depicting Belfast’s industrial history. His work has been commissioned by the Ulster Museum and numerous community organizations across Northern Ireland. In 2008, he was named among the ‘Top 40 under 40’ by the Belfast Media Group as one of “The next wave of Northern Ireland’s leaders…the post ceasefire generation, which, having inherited the peace process, now want to forge a prosperity process.”

The residency will be funded by the Andrew W. Mellon Foundation:

Supported by the Andrew W. Mellon Foundation, the Tri-College Creative Residencies Program encourages Haverford, Bryn Mawr, and Swarthmore faculty from across the three divisions-natural sciences, social sciences, and humanities-to design and implement arts residencies in conjunction with their curricular and scholarly agendas. The program takes as its primary goal the broad integration of the arts through small liberal arts college curricula, seeking particularly to stimulate the creation and enhancement of courses and broader curricular missions by supporting extended, multi-dimensional arts residencies that combine pedagogy, public presentation, and informal exchange among artists, faculty, students, the wider campus, and area communities. 

dee_craig_artProf. Smithey and his colleague, Prof. Gregory Maney (Hofstra University), have been studying the changing mural arts scene in Northern Ireland. The Mural Mapping Project uses geographic information systems (GIS) technology and statistical and qualitative methods of inquiry to analyze murals and other ethnic and political displays in West Belfast and the Greater Shankill Road area, such as memorial gardens, monuments, sculptures, and other forms of public art.

Though Mr. Craig has a burgeoning fine art career, with exhibitions in Northern Ireland, Great Britain, and California, Mr. Craig’s residency will focus on his community and mural art and will provide an opportunity for students, faculty, and staff to explore the role that public art can play in framing public issues and collective identities. An exhibit of Mr. Craig’s mural art will appear in McCabe Library. He will offer public talks, paint a mural on Swarthmore’s campus, and visit classes at each of the Tri-college campuses.

Students who would like to engage the residency from an academic perspective and for course credit can register for SOCI 025B, “Transforming Intractable Conflict” at Swarthmore.

Stay tuned as more details will be announced in this blog.