Joseph Craig English Paints the Town
Recognize these scenes? The local artist paints the places you know in Arlington, Falls Church and D.C.
Joseph Craig English’s silkscreens and lithographs capture local landmarks and street corners in vivid colors. “I do the gas stations and the little restaurants,” says the artist, who grew up in Falls Church, “the places people know and remember, but from a new perspective.”
English graduated from Virginia Commonwealth University and spent his early career as an art director for local ad agencies in the 1960s before taking the leap into printmaking full time. “That was 43 years ago,” he says with a laugh.
But his graphic style hasn’t lost its luster. “I stay in touch with every person who buys my work; I have hundreds of repeat customers.”
Though his streetscapes now include places in Richmond, New York, North Carolina and California, many of his chosen scenes will look familiar to folks from this area: an architectural juxtaposition of old buildings and new construction in Courthouse; Potomac River vistas; local murals and street signs known to commuters who’ve passed by them for years. One series of prints pays homage to the State Theatre, where English spent his formative years, back when the venue was still a movie theater.
“People will come into my booth at a show and tell me great stories about their personal connections to a specific piece. The fact that art can tell a story and evoke a memory, it adds a dimension that makes that piece more exciting,” he says. “My hope is that my story through my artwork intersects with someone else’s story, that they can identify and appreciate that.”
Keep your eyes peeled for English’s colorful prints at this year’s Arlington Festival of the Arts, which brings more than 100 fine artists and artisans to the streets of Clarendon April 21 and 22. josephcraigenglish.com