Tag Archives: tri-college

Dee Craig installs first cloth murals in Europe

Many will remember the Mellon Creative Residency that brought Northern Ireland mural artist, Dee Craig, to the Tri-Colleges in the fall of 2014. Craig installed a collage in Kohlberg Hall and a large mural on the side of the Science Center, hosted an exhibit on mural arts in McCabe Library and guest lectured in classes across the Tri-Colleges.

Craig partnered with Paul Downie of the Community Arts Center and the City of Philadelphia Mural Arts Program to learn about the “parachute cloth” technique that is often used in Philadelphia’s mural scene.

Since he returned to Belfast, Dee has installed four murals using the parachute cloth technique, the first of their kind in Europe. Funding from the Office of the First Minister and Deputy First Minister of Northern Ireland made the projects possible, and three of the new murals focus on education.

Prof. Lee Smithey had the opportunity to catch up with Dee Craig this summer in Belfast and visited each of the new murals.

Youth from nearby Ballymac Friendship Centre designed the first at the bottom of the Newtownards Road in East Belfast. Girls feature prominently along with themes of racial and ethnic diversity, education, and dance. Robyn Buseman and Willis “Nomo” Humphrey from the City of Philadelphia Mural Arts Project flew to Northern Ireland to assist in the installation.

Dee Craig Dreams Mural Belfast 2016

A new mural in the Donegal Pass area of South Belfast encourages reading and the emphasizes the importance of education for local youth.

Dee Craig Education Mural, Belfast 2016

Another mural celebrating education adorns a wall of the newly renovated Ballymac Friendship Centre.

Dee Craig Ballymac mural Belfast 2016

Northern Irish and Polish youth cooperated to create a mural in Foxglove Street in East Belfast. Major-General Stanislaw F. Sosabowski led Polish Airborne Forces, who fought at the Battle of Arnhem in WWII. Sosabowski and his forces came to the rescue of the British 1st Airborne Division that had become surrounded by German troops.

Dee Craig Sosabowski mural, Belfast 2016

Congratulations to Dee and all of his partners as they build on the Tri-Colleges Creative Residency.

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.

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

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.

Tri-College Peace, Conflict, Human Rights, and Social Justice Studies

Welcome back to all faculty, staff, and students.  I hope your semester is off to a great start.

We are in the middle of the drop-add period, and I want to take the opportunity to let you know that there are Peace and Conflict Studies opportunities beyond Swarthmore at our sister colleges, Bryn Mawr and Haverford. Courses that count toward a Concentration in Peace, Conflict, and Social Justice Studies at Bryn Mawr College or a Concentration in Peace, Justice, and Human Rights at Haverford College may also be applied to a minor in Peace and Conflict Studies at Swarthmore. You can read more about the Tri-College consortium’s respective programs at http://bit.ly/tricopeace-info You will also find contact information for each program in that document. Peace studies offerings at Haverford and Bryn Mawr can allow you to study topics not offered at Swarthmore or give you options when you encounter scheduling conflicts between Swarthmore courses. Take advantage of the Tri-co consortium, and feel free to contact the coordinators at any of the colleges!