Craig Nutt is a studio furniture maker and sculptor, whose work is in numerous museum collections including the Smithsonian’s American Art Museum; the High Museum of Art; the Tennessee State Museum; the Georgia Museum of Art; and the Mobile, Birmingham and Huntsville Museums of Art in Alabama. He has received fellowships from the Alabama State Council on the Arts, the Tennessee Arts Commission, and a southeast regional fellowship from the National Endowment for the Arts.
He was a founding board member of the Furniture Society. He chaired the website committee in the early days of the web, and served on the conference and exhibitions committees. He co-chaired the third Furniture Society conference held at the Appalachian Center for Craft in Smithville, TN in 1999. He has served on many other regional and national boards including the Craft Emergency Relief Fund (CERF) and the American Craft Council Southeastern Regional Assembly and currently serves on the Board of Governors of Arrowmont School of Arts and Crafts. In 2006 he served as the Interim Executive Director of the Tennessee Association of Craft Artists (Now Tennessee Craft).
While serving on the board of CERF, a national service organization assisting artists who work in craft disciplines affected by career-threatening emergencies, Hurricane Katrina struck the Mississippi Gulf Coast and New Orleans. The challenges of that extreme disaster turned out to be a pivotal experience for the organization and for Nutt. He was invited to join the staff in an effort to help CERF (now CERF+) become a more proactive organization, helping artists develop more resilient careers, and creating tools, such as the Studio Protector to assist artists preparing for and responding more effectively to emergencies. During this time, CERF+ spearheaded a consortium of national arts services organizations in an effort, continuing to this day, to develop a culture of resilience and emergency response in the arts in the USA. In April of 2015 he completed his ten year stint as the first Director of Programs for CERF to return to a full-time studio practice. He continues to work with CERF+ matters of public policy and advocacy.
In 2013 Nutt completed a commission from the Metro Nashville Arts Commission that was among six works to commemorate the response to the 2010 Nashville flood. The 12,000 lb. polychrome concrete bench sculpture, Bellevue Bench Mark, sited in the Bellevue community of Nashville, represents an intersection of Nutt’s experience in emergency response and art furniture. Among his works in the public art arena are two projects for the Hartsfield-Jackson Atlanta International Airport, the iconic Corncorde, a ten-foot long carved wooden jet ear of corn commissioned prior to the 1996 Atlanta Olympic Games, and Imperator, a giant carrot topped by a rotating butterbean clock. Completed in 2003, the clock references both the primacy of time to air travel and airport structures such as towers and radar installations.
His early work in the 1970’s and 80’s with Raudelunas, the Alabama avant garde multimedia collective, has been the subject of renewed interest. Feature articles in Mojo and Oxford American magazines were followed by a Raudelunas retrospective exhibition at the University of Alabama. An independent feature film, Icepick to the Moon documents the music, art, and performances of the collective. Nutt credits that early experience with helping him develop his unique approach to furniture and sculpture.