Bio: Duane Cregger is a contemporary artist working in oils and acrylics. His large, brightly colored and heavily textured works form an abstract narrative of life in Virginia’s Blue Ridge Highlands. Cregger received a Bachelor of Arts in Art from Roanoke College in Salem, Va. He lived in Washington, D.C. for nearly 15 years, with a career in art direction and corporate graphic design; in 2003, he began to paint. Cregger’s work has been featured in many national magazines. His paintings are found in private and corporate collections throughout the United States in Canada and the Caribbean. Recent commissions include clients in Houston, San Francisco, Minneapolis, and Ontario. He is founding member and president of the Appalachian Spirit Artists Cooperative and was appointed to serve on an advisory panel for the Virginia Commission for the Arts from 2009-2012.
Artist's Statement: Themes presented in the work center around experiences that reflect my journey of individuation and the shared archetypes of human consciousness. The paintings form a personal narrative through abstracted color and line, leaving a history of events that are both individually intimate and illustrative of broader ideas regarding human consciousness and the subconscious. These themes are rooted in a specific family heritage and regional culture. In 1750, my ancestors traveled the Great Road from Pennsylvania to the Blue Ridge Highlands, and there is a deep imprint of the region’s topography and Appalachian culture in my creative process. The simple and difficult mountain life of successive generations of family, the arguably abstract crafts of quilting and furniture building, and the mix of natural beauty, poverty, and musical history: these are things I encounter daily in reconciliation with the counterweight of a mostly urban adult life. The relative lack of contemporary artistic expression in the Blue Ridge Highlands is a call to create work that speaks of a centuries-old Appalachian culture through a lens of rural-to-urban (and back to rural) migration.