Charles Criner

Artwork

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Charles Criner
Charles Criner (b. 1945) Charles Criner was born in 1945 and raised in Athens, a small town in East Texas. He attended Texas Southern University in Houston between 1964 and 1968, studying under the guidance of the renowned late artist, Dr. John T. Biggers. While in college Criner supported himself by working as a sign painter, graphic artist, and billboard illustrator. After graduating he worked for NASA, producing drawings for Apollo 11. Two years later he worked as the advertising art director at The Houston Post that was interrupted for a two-year stint in the Army. He returned to The Houston Post after his service where he served as Advertising Director until the newspaper closed in 1995. He then started his own business and was lured away to create advertising art for The Houston Chronicle. Criner is noted for his cartoons including the “Johnny Jones” series created while in the Army and later adapted for The Houston Post, The Job Crowd, The Dogs and a few others. He also collaborated with his longtime friend, newspaper columnist and sportswriter William Henry Hygh on the “Johnny Jones” cartoon carried in The Houston Post with Hygh providing the narrative for Criner’s art. Criner’s art, ads, and cartoons have been featured in Ebony Magazine, Houston Business Journal, the Housing and Urban Development (HUD), and in advertising for the Houston Oilers. Since 1997, Criner has been the Artist-in-Residence at the Museum of Printing History in Houston, where he operates a studio, further defines his craft, and leads stone lithography workshops using the museum’s antique press. The scenes of Criner’s stone lithographs, the medium he prefers best, are biographical images pulled from both childhood memories and the artist’s immediate environment. Of his art, Criner states, "My art reflects my beliefs and the things that I like to do. Fishing has always been one of my favorite pastimes…I also love to recapture the Black experience in the form of people working in the fields. I believe that these images are important and that they should be cherished windows into our past." Criner’s artwork is included in numerous prestigious private collections throughout the United States, and has been exhibited at or is in the permanent collections of: Charles H. Wright Museum of African American History, Detroit MI; Museum of Printing History, Houston, TX; San Antonio Museum, San Antonio, TX; Southern University at Shreveport, LA; Southern University at Baton Rouge, LA; Texas Southern University, Houston, TX; The African American Museum, Dallas, TX; The King Center, Columbus, OH; The Longview Museum of Fine Arts, Longview, TX; The O'Kane Gallery at the University of Houston, TX; The Schomburg Center for Research in Black Culture, New York, NY; The Tubman African American Museum, Macon, GA; The Tyler Museum of Art, Tyler, TX; and University of Arkansas, Fayetteville, AK. Additionally, several of Criner’s student works completed during his time at Texas Southern University are published in the 1978 book Black Art in Houston by John Biggers, Carroll Simms, and John Edward Weems published by Texas A&M University Press. Biographical and Career Highlights • 1945 Born in Athens, TX • 1964 Graduated from Fisher High School, Athens, TX • 1964 Attended Texas Southern University, in the Fine Arts Program studying under renowned artist John Biggers. • 1968 Graduated from Texas Southern University, B.A. in Art Education • 1968 Art Instructor, Texas Southern University • 1968-1969 Designed billboards for Posters Inc. of Houston • 1969-1970 Graphic illustrator for National Aeronautical Space Administration, worked on Apollo 11 drawings • 1970-1984 Advertising artist for The Houston Post • 1970-1972 Served in the United States Army • 1984-1992 Owner and illustrator for Kevin’s Art business • 1992-1995 Advertising artist for The Houston Post until it closed down • 1995-1998 Advertising artist for The Houston Chronicle • 1997-Present Artist-in-Residence at Museum of Printing History in Houston, TX • Currently resides in Houston, TX Selected Exhibitions 2017 Homecoming: The 8th Biannual Alumni Exhibition, The University Museum, Texas Southern University, Houston, TX 2017 On My Journey: The Legacy of John Biggers, curated by Sally Reynolds, Arts Brookfield, Houston, TX 2014 Houston Founders at City Hall, organized by William Reaves Fine Art and the Mayor’s Office of Cultural Affairs, Houston’s City Hall, Houston, TX Selected Public Collections • Charles H. Wright Museum of African American History, Detroit MI • Museum of Printing History, Houston, TX • San Antonio Museum, San Antonio, TX • Southern University at Shreveport, LA • Southern University at Baton Rouge, LA • Texas Southern University, Houston, TX • The African American Museum, Dallas, TX • The King Center, Columbus, OH • The Longview Museum of Fine Arts, Longview, TX • The O'Kane Gallery at the University of Houston, TX • The Schomburg Center for Research in Black Culture, New York, NY • The Tubman African American Museum, Macon, GA • The Tyler Museum of Art, Tyler, TX • University of Arkansas, Fayetteville, AK
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