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Award-winning artist Stephanie Craig, was the featured guest speaker for SmARTtalk at the Southern Museum Friday. Craig shared knowledge and information regarding her exhibit, “Fossilized Memories,” which is currently on display at the museum until Oct. 12, 2012.

Stephanie Craig is a native of Canada. She earned a Master of Master of Fine Art at Edinboro University of Pennsylvania and is an Adjunct Professor of Art at Baldwin Wallace College and Cuyahoga Community College.

Craig’s most recent recognition was in 2011, in which she received Cleveland’s prestigious CPAC Creative Workforce Fellowship. The Fellowship allocated a $20,000 prize.

During the summer of 2011 Stephanie participated in the Artist-in-Residence program at Guldargergaard International Ceramics Research Center in Denmark.

Craig talked about her work with her husband fellow artist, Todd Leech with whom she shares a ceramics studio they call Hectic Studio located in downtown Cleveland.

Stephanie and Todd are featured in the November 2011 issue of Ceramics Monthly. The article showcases “couples in clay” - married ceramists working collaboratively in the studio.

“Todd and I work really well together, as collaborators,” Craig said.

She spoke of the advantages of collaborative work, and made reference to some of the challenges of it as well.

“With collaboration you have to learn how to articulate and share intuitive impulses, inspiration, motivation and creativity,” Craig said. “We are each other’s best critic and soundboard.

“We start with a found object, a relic that already has its own rich culture and experience.”

The audience attendees asked Craig about the sources of her inspiration and what the process entails to create the artistry for which she is known.

Writing her thoughts in a journal was a method that was very much a part of the creative process. Craig said she wrote specifically about memories of her life.

Since that time, Craig said she marvels at just how vast her thought processes and ideas have expanded since her graduate school days.

“My world is much bigger now. I am at a different place in my life,” Craig said.

In addition to the SmARTtalk at noon on Friday, there was a reception held at the Southern Ohio Museum, in which Craig spoke more about the “Fossilized Memories” exhibit.

Portia Williams may be reached at 740-353-3101, ext. 234 or portiawilliams@heartlandpublications.com

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