Customs House Museum • August 4 through 30
by Keeley Harper
Diane Davich Craig had taken a few painting lessons and a small art class. After futile beginnings in landscape art where her attempts to “paint every leaf and every blade of grass” left her feeling overwhelmed and frustrated, she stopped pursuing this creative endeavor. Craig found herself returning to art for comfort in the face of her father’s terminal illness. Roughly seven short years into that journey, Craig is now an awarded artist whose realistic paintings transform the mundane into moving works of art—each with a story.
Her paintings and their stories will be on display at the Planter’s Bank Peg Harvill Gallery at the Customs House Museum in Clarksville, Tennessee, as one in a yearlong series of month-long exhibits curated by Nashville Arts Magazine. As a member of the International Guild of Realism, a recipient of multiple awards, and with paintings featured in multiple galleries, Craig admits surprise at her success. “I never in my wildest dreams expected to do anything with art. I just needed something that could distract me from my father’s illness, and I loved it—the hours just melted away. It was a surreal experience.”
Some might say the same about viewing her art. Leaning toward the colorful and nostalgic, and with content ranging from neon signs to rusty trucks, each painting offers a unique insight into its subject. One such piece, Together We Are Strong, was inspired by the 50th anniversary of Martin Luther King Jr.’s “I Have a Dream” speech. Craig explains, “I loved the rustic character, and the two latches gave me a feeling of unification. The painting speaks to the common bond between humans.”
As Musical Director for the Nashville Chamber Players and as a painter, Davich knows a great deal about the essential nature of creativity and the connections fostered through art. “I just am so thankful to have found art to add into my life, and I really do hope that when people see or buy a painting it brings them some of the pleasure that I get out of art.”
Diane Davich Craig is represented by Gallery 202 in Franklin, Tennessee, and J. A. Willy Gallery in Naples, Florida. Paintings and Ponderings will exhibit at the Customs House Museum from August 4 through 30. Meet the artist during Clarksville’s First Thursday Art Crawl on August 6 from 5 until 8 p.m. To learn more about the exhibit, visit www.customshousemuseum.org. To see more of Craig’s work, visit www.dianedavichcraig.com.