Mapping a Modern Mississippi < Places < Charles R. Crossley Memorial Gallery, The

Charles R. Crossley Memorial Gallery, The

Artist Charles Crossley (1938-2012) was a Pike County native. He took much of his inspiration from his early childhood experiences of living off the land in Mississippi. At the age of 17, he joined the United States Navy and was stationed in San Diego, California. After being discharged, he stayed in San Diego and graduated from the Coronado School of Fine Art with a master's degree in fine and commercial art. After meeting his wife, Fern Crossley, a Californian radio broadcaster, TV producer, actress and activist, he returned back to McComb, dedicating himself to painting and art education programs for the disadvantaged children of Pike County.

He eventually turned his two story house in McComb into a workshop / studio, encouraging artist residencies and creating a hot bed of creativity. This is what is now known as The McComb Studio of Art and Design Centre.

Charles Crossley and his wife, Fern were strong, active members of the McComb community, always challenging citizens to dare to differ in small but honest ways through art and self expression.

At the age of 65 Fern Crossley continues to be a power house for the community and has kept her husband's studio alive through workshops and tours. She is still a central figure in the community and has her own radio show on WAKK fm.

Charles Crossley is founder of The McComb Studio of Art and Design Center.

The Stories

An artist talk by Master Painter and Visual Artist Charles R. Crossley in his McComb art studio June 18, 2012. Included are some images of his paintings from a book of his art work. This video was recorded by fellow artist and friend Sálongo Lee.

Credit to: Sálongo Lee

I learned today that a Master Artist, Arts Educator, Navy Veteran and a Mentor to many artists including myself, Charles R. Crossley of McComb Mississippi passed on December 27, 2012 at the Veterans Hospital In Jackson Mississippi. He was 74 years young.

Over the five years I had known him, he went from being an acquaintance to becoming friend and mentor. My wife and I spent several weekends last year at the house he had turned into two-story studio, talking about art and the artists he knew while working on his book. We even stayed a weekend in one of the bedrooms upstairs whose walls were painted by an Artist In Residence to appear as if you were in the ocean surrounded by beautiful sea life.

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Credit to: Sálongo Lee | Black Art in America

Charles R. Crossley, Sr. of McComb, Mississippi was an African American artist who was influenced by Pablo Picasso, Romare Bearden and Jacob Lawrence and was good friends with the late John T. Scott; an African American sculptor, painter, print maker and professor of art at Xavier University in New Orleans.

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