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CDPL commemorates Mark Craig

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Posted: Tuesday, October 1, 2013 1:15 am

Mark Craig once drew a picture that depicts the anatomy of the human eye. He wanted to be an illustrator, and after 17 years of working at Macy’s in Lafayette, he decided to move to Washington to take art classes at Green Forks Community College and to be closer to his fiancé Deana Rogers.

Today, the eye ball drawing hangs above a card that commemorates him in the Crawfordsville District Public Library, where his life and works are on display. Mark died a year ago in a single-car crash outside of Ashland, Mont. He was in the process of moving to his new apartment in Washington. He was 39 years old.

“We are making this a positive instead of a negative,” Mark’s mother Dellie Craig said about the display. “A month after he died, I mentioned that I wanted to have his artwork displayed in the library in time for his one-year, and it has happened.

“He was happy, and he was on his way to fulfilling his life the way he wanted to.”

The drawings on display include portraits of sports stars and animals. However, the drawing that tells the story of the impact he has left on the world the most is his drawing of the eye ball, which he drew when he studied at Ivy Tech in the mid-2000s.

In February 2012, Mark listed himself as an organ donor when he renewed his driver’s license. After he passed away, his corneas were donated to a nine-year-old female and 28-year-old male in Europe. He also donated bone marrow and skin tissues, which will help improve the lives of over 100 more people.

“He decided to be a donor because he was healthy and figured he could help someone some day,” Dellie said.

Mark’s interest in drawing grew during his high school years after a piece of his artwork was selected to be shown at Rantoul High School in Illinois, and appeared as an exhibit at a gallery at the University of Illinois. A year later, his artistic talents earned more recognition at Knob Noster High School in Missouri, for a pen and ink drawing he made of a falcon. His passion for art encouraged him to take art classes at Central Missouri State University after he graduated from high school. He also took art classes at Ivy Tech in Lafayette.

His grandfather further influenced him during his high school years by giving him his first drawing table. Mark later built his own table out of metal plumbing pipes and blue plexiglass. The table also featured shelves for books.

“He sat there and drew at the table and on the floor while he was watching TV,” Dellie said. “Someone asked me if he always did art, and I said he would have loved to.”

The drawing table Mark made is on display.

The library also has a display on the celebration of Mark’s life that took place at Washington University. The display includes a copy of the 2012 LifeNet Health Northwest Commemorative Booklet that has Mark’s name listed. It also includes pictures of his grave marker, which is in Forks Cemetery in Forks, Wash., and the last picture his mother took of him before he left for Washington.

Mark’s mother and father, Roger Craig, are pleased to know that Mark has helped others and hope the display will encourage children to use art as a way to express themselves.

“Your children are your artwork,” Dellie said.

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