CRAIG A. ANDERSON ’70 came to Bradley with one goal — to play basketball under CHARLES “CHUCK” ORSBORN ’39 MS ’51. He made the team, but was unsure how to proceed from there. He had hopes in high school of going into architecture after growing up admiring the grand buildings of Chicago, but Bradley offered engineering and not architecture. After a rough first semester struggling with the rigors of athletics and 17 credit hours, Anderson decided to leave the team and focus on school. “There was an extra incentive for me to pay attention [to school],” said Anderson, “It was the Vietnam War … I figured that I was going to get drafted.”
It was not until his junior year in an art-for-non-art-majors class that Anderson discovered his calling: painting. His interest in architecture gave him enough background to quickly adapt to his new choice of study and he believes that decision turned everything around. “I was very happy after that,” Anderson said.
He graduated with a degree in painting and credits the late Karl Moehl, professor emeritus of art, with helping him make it through Bradley. “I was working 50 hours a week at McDonald’s … and going to 8 a.m. class, dragging my feet because I’d closed at 1 or 2 in the morning.” Moehl offered him a job in the art department, which also gave Anderson space to work on his projects.
Basketball reentered Anderson’s life when he began teaching art at Palatine High School in 1972 after completing his master’s in art education at the University of Illinois. He coached for a few years, but turned down a varsity coaching offer. His work appeared in Gilman Galleries in Chicago, and he wanted to focus on his art. He took a leave of absence to earn his MFA in painting from Northern Illinois University. Anderson taught at Palatine for more than 30 years, earning a Teacher of the Year award twice. He also was chairman of art in Palatine School District 211.
Visit craigaanderson.com for more information and to view photos of Anderson’s art.
Anderson’s love of architecture came full circle when gallery owner Mac Gilman invited Herbert Bayer, one of the 12 masters of the Bauhaus architectural style, to Anderson’s show. Bayer purchased a painting and included Anderson in the L.A. ARCO (Atlantic Richfield Co.) collection. “There’s always been an architectural feel to my work,” said Anderson, “even though it is just paint marks.”
Anderson enjoys creating interactive exhibits, such as his 100 paintings, 100 drawings display that opened in 2004 at the NAB Gallery in Chicago, which Anderson has helped manage throughout the last 35 years. This display allowed viewers to take the pieces off the walls and create their own arrangement. Another exhibit at the gallery consisted of 500 Moebius strips that viewers could reconfigure. Moebius strips (shown above) represent the infinity sign and are made of paper or canvas that is painted on both sides and looped and twisted around in a continuous connection. The Moebius strip collection was part of Anderson’s exhibit when he opened last summer at the Kavanagh Gallery in the Fine Line Creative Arts Center in St. Charles.
CAROL CORAM ’72 recently became assistant principal at Denny International Middle School in Seattle. She previously was principal at Arbor Heights Elementary School for 11 years. A former track and field coach at West Point, Carol was a technical official for the Central American and Caribbean Track and Field Championships this summer in Puerto Rico. Carol is a member of the Bradley Athletics Hall of Fame and continues to participate in sprint triathlons. She holds a master’s and doctorate degree from Columbia University. She and her husband Ammon McWashington live in Seattle.