Craig Stockwell
Craig Stockwell

Affiliated Faculty

craig.stockwell@myunion.edu

My two lifetime passions have been art and education. In my twenties I was deeply involved in various forms of "experiential" education, this means learning from experience…from doing. And this has remained my model. I worked with Outward Bound for many years and then in my thirties decided I'd like to become a small town school principal so I entered Antioch New England Graduate School and received an M.Ed. degree. I taught briefly in elementary schools as a classroom teacher and then moved back to Antioch where I taught in the Environmental Studies department.

Throughout all of this work in education my art was slowly developing. I had begun at Dartmouth College not knowing what my interests were but soon discovered art. I consumed all the courses they had to offer and moved on to Rhode Island School of Design intending to become a painter like Van Gogh…but ending up as a glass-blower. What followed were 12 years in various cities…Boulder, Minneapolis, Boston, and finally NY as I developed into an artist. My early years in NY were years of naïve and surprising success…reviews in The NY Times, important shows (PS 1, now part of The Museum of Modern Art). Eventually this came to a period of confusion and I left NY with my wife and new baby, quit making art, and spent two years in Spain working for my father-in–law. At the end of this time we returned to New England and Antioch NE Graduate School. Two more daughters followed. My wife and I live in Keene, NH, where we've been now for 20 years.

What happened next is a mid-life story of redemption in which Vermont College played a crucial role. After several years, in the 90's, of very private art making I decided once again to turn to more education as an effort to refocus my artwork. I attended the MFA in Visual Arts program at Vermont College (now Vermont College of Fine Arts) in Montpelier, after much hesitation (aren't I getting a little old for education??). This wonderful program turned my hesitancy into clear and focused articulation. Since completing that degree in 2000 I have been working as faculty at Keene State College (teaching drawing) and my artwork has achieved great success. What does success as an artist mean? In 2002 I had a show in Boston of paintings and drawings done while living through 9/11 and the period during which both of my parents died of cancer. The Museum of Fine Arts in Boston purchased a group of nine drawings and they are now in the collection of the Museum. I write about art for various publications and teach widely. I have founded and am the Artistic Director of a community art school, Artworks of Keene. I once was sure that the possibilities of my being involved in the "conversation" of art were finished for me; the redemption that has occurred is to be fully back in that conversation and being allowed to passionately inquire in the field of my choice. That is success.