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Wes Crawley Estate
Raised in the Chicago area, Wesley V. Crawley received his first scholarship at the age of 13 to the Art Institute of Chicago. He was a graduate of the University of Oregon, School of Fine Arts, in the Undergraduate and Masters Program, and was a member of the faculty there, as well.
Mr. Crawley was a long-term member (serving as Treasurer) of the Pacific Northwest Institute of Sculptors. He was listed in Who’s Who in American Education and Who’s Who in Art In America. He exhibited widely on the West Coast beginning in 1952, where he won numerous awards including the California State Ceramics Exhibition, the Oregon State Sculptor’s Exhibition and the Commemorative Sculpture Exhibition in Oregon. His work has been exhibited widely in museums and galleries in Arizona, California, Nevada, Oregon, Idaho, and Illinois. Mr. Crawley began working and exhibiting on the East Coast in 1959. Throughout the 60’s and 70’s, his works were shown broadly on the East Coast, as well as in British Columbia, and Ontario. During this time he served as Regional Representative for the Southern Association of Sculptors.
He worked with many materials. He carved wood, marble, and other stone and worked in welded bronze and steel, cast bronze, cast paper, cast stone, and ceramics. Most of his work was done on a commission basis and included numerous portrait, garden and architectural works.
Wesley V. Crawley was Professor of Art at East Carolina University in Greenville, North Carolina. He began in the Sculpture Department and later moved into the Drawing Department.
The unifying factor in Crawley’s work is not to be found in media or technique, or even in gross style, but in an abiding love for the human figure. Stripped of the accumulations of time and culture, the nude body becomes the medium of exchange by which the observer not only comprehends himself, but his place in time. This artist never wavered in his determination to work through the unyielding mechanics of thought and feeling toward greater understanding. The result was beauty.
Drawing is language. Just as certain words call up character of an object or its situation or condition, so does the language of drawing. We have words such as round, square, hard, soft, bent, concave, convex, hanging, or falling…which through association, through custom, call up memories or images of objects. Some words are very arbitrary; others such as crash or bang have direct sound associations with their meanings. The language of drawing is even closer to nature than speech; its symbols resemble the visual stimuli much more than most words in any way “resemble” their meanings. Drawing is a conventional language, which triggers our memories to evoke an image or idea. It is natural, simple, and beautiful…even more so than the language of words.
- Wes Crawley, from the pages of a sketch tablet, 1969
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