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Craig N. Lucas, 69, taught at Kent State University School of Art for more than 30 years

He was known for his abstract paintings and received a Cleveland Arts Prize for a 2008 Lifetime Achievement Award for Visual Arts.

Craig N. Lucas, 69, professor emeritus, talented painter and recipient of a Cleveland Arts Prize for a 2008 Lifetime Achievement Award for Visual Arts, died Friday, April 1, at his home in Kent.

The Cleveland native received a bachelor of fine arts degree from KSU in 1967 and a master of arts in 1976. He taught at the KSU School of Art from 1969 until retiring in 2004.

All the while, Lucas pursued his passion for abstract painting. He won numerous honors, including an Ohio Arts Council Fellowship, Akron Area Arts Alliance Visual Arts Award and the Painting Award at the 1990 May Show at the Cleveland Museum of Art.

His artwork has been exhibited at the Akron Art Museum, Canton Art Museum and the 1994 Invitational at the Cleveland Museum of Art. He had one-person shows at such venues as the John Davis Gallery in Akron, William Busta Gallery in Cleveland, Ohio University and Occidental College in Los Angeles.

Lucas became involved with the Kent Environmental Council when the Cuyahoga River was rerouted around the historic dam downtown, according to the KEC’s Winter 2010 publication.

He also participated in Garden Club of Kent projects, attended the and practiced yoga.

Survivors include his sons, Erik and Ian; seven grandchildren; two great-grandchildren; and siblings, Dennis and Francine.

A memorial service will be held at a later date with arrangements by .

Elaine Hullihen April 04, 2011 at 08:24 PM
I will always remember Craig's warm smile. He was so genuinely happy to see the people he cared about and his eyes never tried to hide it. You will be missed, Craig.
Bob Mayfield April 05, 2011 at 05:47 PM
There will be a celebration of life for Craig at the Kent State University School of Art Gallery on Sunday, April 10, 2011 at 1:30 p.m.
Matt Fredmonsky April 05, 2011 at 07:26 PM
Is that the Downtown Gallery next door to McKay Bricker Gallery Bob?
Bob Mayfield April 05, 2011 at 08:04 PM
Matt, That is the art gallery on the Kent State campus in the School of Art Building. The Downtown Gallery would not be big enough.
andrea karcic April 05, 2011 at 10:59 PM
Craig was my undergraduate painting advisor in 1991-92. We shared quite a few cups of coffee while he guided my work. I took every life drawing and basic drawing class he taught. I was drawn to Craig because he reminded me of my father--absolutely knowledgeable on every subject. I am very sad to hear of his passing at such a young age. --A. Karcic
Heidi Shaffer April 06, 2011 at 03:55 AM
Last Wednesday Craig came to yoga class. I hadn't seen him for awhile, but he was happy and seemed well. He had a sparkle in his eyes. He was always so interesting and interested in so much. He leaves us much to contemplate and be inspired by. He lived a full and whole life, but not nearly long enough. I will miss our philosophical discussions most of all. He thought deeply and shared his inner world with all those who cared to know about it.
Gretchen Bierbaum April 06, 2011 at 09:42 PM
Gretchen Bierbaum Craig and I attended high school and shared many classes together, especially in the art department. We exchanged paintings in the 11th grade in case one of us would become famous, but we did not designate the type of fame. He, of course became a great artist and I took a different path with art education and adminsitration. My left brain hemishere was too large for me to be an artist and he was annoyed that I had a better grade in Trigonometry. I admired his creativity and we have worked together in my art foundation for many years. I always relied on his wisdom as a judge for national exhibits. I will miss his large brain.

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