Bill Crosby was a member of the State University of New York, at Plattsburgh, from 1963 until 1998. A Professor of Art, his primary teaching responsibilities were in painting and photography. Bill attended Cornell University majoring in architecture and in 1961 he completed his B.A. degree at the University of Michigan, majoring in art and design. He earned his M.F.A. degree in 1963 from the University of Michigan.
Bill’s paintings and photographs have been exhibited regionally and nationally in juried and invitational exhibitions. His works are in many public and private collections including the State Museum of New York. A selection of his numerous one-person shows include Marietta College, Ohio; Chautauqua Institute, N.Y.; Mt. Vernon College, Ohio; Penn State University, PA; Cazenovia College, NY; Mill Gallery, NY; and the Clinton County Council on the Arts Gallery, NY. In addition to five one-person exhibits at Plattsburgh State Art Galleries, Bill has received two SUNY grants and three Sabbatical leaves.
Most recently, Bill has won awards in the 2002 and 2003 National Acrylic Painters Association International Exhibition, as well the 22nd Adirondack National Exhibition of American Watercolors.
I believe that my artwork is a confluence of my roots in both realism and abstraction. Beginning in the late 1950’s and into the early 1960’s I built a foundation in the photographic realism of Ansel Adams and Edward Weston and the realism of Winslow Homer, Edward Hopper, Rockwell Kent and Andrew Wyeth in painting. The abstract qualities of Minor White in photography and especially of Hans Hofmann and Franz Kline in painting have influenced my work over the years. Early architectural studies and my interest in building things added to the visual structure and composition of my work.
As a teacher of art on the college level, now retired, I have been in the labs and studios for over 35 years. I began teaching at SUNY Plattsburgh in the fall of 1963 in what was then a growing and emerging Art Department in a new Liberal Arts Program. I had the opportunity to begin the photography courses at Plattsburgh in 1964 and saw these courses develop and grow into a full program with three faculty members. I also taught some painting along with photography. I have always exhibited both photography and painting. The work in both is landscape oriented. The experience of being out in the landscape, in all seasons of the year, has always been important to me. The photographs are, of course, taken on location. The paintings however, are a product of my memory and imagination and are accomplished in the studio. The outdoor experience generates ideas and compositions that are realized during the actual act of painting and may change and develop as the painting progresses.
Over the years my methods of experiencing the landscape have been varied including aerial views, hiking, backpacking, cross-country and downhill skiing, canoeing, and in recent years ocean and lake kayaking. The change of seasons is always a special passage and motivation for new work. The natural landscape of sky, earth and water is a cathedral for life and spirit. Wilderness is both a physical place and a place of the mind and spirit. Often my work can be considered as an abstract impression of the landscape. Certainly, I think of it as an interpretative response to the landscape.