Master Craft

Liz Monroy / el Don
Liz Monroy / el Don

By Haide Hernandez

After four decades of shaping students, professor Partrick Crabb, a world-class ceramic artist whose works have been displayed across the nation, is retiring at the end of the year.

“I’m very fortunate to have the time to work and play,” Crabb said.

Crabb describes his style as deconstructionist, creating art inspired by broken shards, fragments and incomplete pieces that used to be part of a whole. His style is derived from Santero pioneer Rick Dillingham of Santa Fe, New Mexico.

Treks to the Southwest desert, where shards of broken pottery from ancient North American tribes, as well as other ancient art from around the globe, continue to be sources of inspiration.

“I hope to convey a sense of mystery and visual power to my viewers,” said Crabb.

“Ancient cultures with its historical artifacts from many countries layer the imagery, resulting in a multi-cultural composition.”

A seasoned globe-trotter, Crabb has organized 16 art tours to places known for antiquity, including Peru, China, Mexico and Japan.

Gallery Coordinator Caroline McCabe calls Crabb adventurous.

“He’s that kind of guy that will get on that horse to hike down that stream to a weird trail that leads to an underground cave with a pool that he dives into,” she said. McCabe has worked with Crabb since 1976.

He is down-to-earth when it comes to his global fame.

“I’m overblown and shirk away from being known as an international artist, I don’t see myself as that, I am just very fortunate,” said Crabb. “The year is not here yet but its starting to fill in,” he said.

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Crabb’s 60 solo and dual exhibits have been hosted around the world, from Laguna Beach Art Museum in California to the Museum of Modern Ceramics in Castelli, Italy – 24 countries in all. In 1992 Crabb was awarded a Fulbright Scholar Travel Grant, and chose to go to Queen Elizabeth II Fine Arts Council in New Zealand.

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