Ali Perry, Entrepreneur
Artist Bio: Jason Craighead
Jason Craighead is a recognized leader in the North Carolina art scene. His work has been featured in many solo and group exhibitions across the Southeast and is included in many private and public collections throughout the United States and internationally.
Jason grew up in Florida where he studied art at Gulf Coast Community College and Florida State University. He has been a resident of downtown Raleigh for sixteen years and an active participant in the city’s arts community. He is a member of the City of Raleigh Arts Commission and serves on the Grants Committee. He is also co-founder of Switchhouse, a working studio space and gallery that he and artist Dave Green completed in the spring of 2014.
Jason’s work emits an infectious, fervent energy. In fact, it echoes the well-known words of Edward Hopper: “If you could say it in words, there would be no reason to paint.” Craighead’s creative process combines instinct and spontaneity with purposeful movement and references from emotionally significant books, films, and music lyrics. What remains is an elusive balance of structures intricately networked to create striking compositions. The effect of his work engages the viewer, inciting emotional reaction and engagement with his emotive narrative.
There’s a lot to be said about anything that curls its way around your spine and takes up residence in that fuzzy, toe-curling, happy place at the base of your skull. An incredible piece of artwork will do that to you. It will squeeze your heart and render you breathless—which is exactly what happened as I stood in front of Jason Craighead’s Make It What You Will at Tinney Contemporary. But then, his work does that to me. And this piece became the second of his treasures to join my burgeoning collection. Something I love about Jason’s work is that his composition is heart-wrenchingly beautiful. Perfect. The kind of perfect that’s almost too much to bear. Without question, this piece could stand on its own without any understanding of its underlying meaning. But such a story Jason tells. One of growth, of unwavering hope, of solitude, of journey, of joy. His musings are excruciatingly personal. They’re big, important stories rendered in paint and oil pastels and graphite and bits of paper—and I feel a bit like a voyeur watching him painstakingly find his voice. Watching him talk to himself, really, because his work never feels like it was meant for anyone but him. And maybe that’s why every scribbled word, every drip of paint, every jagged bit of color feels so intentional and so intimate. Layer after layer after layer the story unfolds, captured only after many hours of inspection and introspection. Though even then, perhaps not completely. Jason paints from the soul, and his is a deep one. So, I keep trying. I keep listening. Carefully.