“Moving” with Ben Craigie has been a real treat to sit with as a curator and gallery owner. I have enjoyed spending time with Ben’s sculptural pieces made from metal, found objects and ceramics. Each piece having the appearance of being hard and edgy from the materials used but when you sit with them and they are felt they have an incredible softness that gives life to each of his installations. They truly are something unique and enjoyable.
Ben Craigie just recently finished his Bachelor of Fine Arts from Northern Arizona University and is getting ready to start a professorship at Notre Dame while undergoing Grad school. A Flagstaff native, he is truly loved by all that meet him. He has a deep love for the arts and his community, something him and I have connected on. Growing up in a family who have always created and built things, Ben has grown up with this understanding of working with tools most of his life. It shows time and time again in his work, with the incorporation of broken tools, scrap materials and the discarded. He ties these objects together in a way that gives them new life, they become organic through the morphing of his hands. A softness given to bolts and blades.
As artists we have a responsibility to create better worlds and not add to the destruction of our environments. Ben’s sculptures do just that. He give’s function and beauty to what otherwise would be discarded. One of my favorite pieces Ben showed me while visiting his studio back in March was a ceramic mug that had a tool for the handle. “We grab those things, old tools we use, that is the perfect handle,” Ben explained.
You can view his work on display at The HeArt Box until April 27th. Closing reception with an artist talk will be on Saturday, April 27th from 6-8pm. Come join us or follow more about Ben on Instagram @potmetal.