Son of pioneering color nature photographer, author and environmentalist, Les Blacklock, Craig Blacklock grew up with a camera in hand. He often accompanied his father on photography trips throughout the American West and most often to the Boundary Waters Canoe Area. After college, Craig joined with him in co-photographing several books and dozens of calendars. Craig’s first wife, Nadine Blacklock also contributed her photography to the family business until her death in an automobile accident in 1998.
Craig’s artistic practice is intrinsically linked to the interface of land and water in wilderness areas—most often Lake Superior. Since 1976 his artwork has evolved from large-format color landscapes depicting what these places looked like; to black and white nudes creating an emotional connection to the landscapes by expressing what it felt like to be within their environs; to increasingly non-representational imagery untethered from context.
In his new Light Waves photographs, the shoreline of Lake Superior and the sky above are seen only indirectly—reflecting as an amalgamation from the complex mirror of the water’s surface. In videos produced from these stills, images flow from one to the next like the waves themselves, with no distinct boundaries.
Blacklock’s work has been shown in over 35 solo exhibitions, including at the Phipps Center for the Arts, Mill City Museum, Minnesota Marine Art Museum, Minnesota Center for Photography, Palm Beach Photographic Centre, and Tweed Museum of Art. His 19 books have won numerous awards, including three gold awards from Independent Publishers, a world-wide competition. Blacklock was the 2018 recipient of the George Morrison Artist Award.
Full time fine art landscape photographer since 1976. Opened Blacklock Photography Galleries in 2001.
EXHIBITIONS One or two person shows unless noted otherwise. Selected from over 35.
2022 The Museum at the Palm Beach Photographic Centre, West Palm Beach, FL
2019 White Bear Center for the Arts, White Bear Lake, MN
2019 Watershed Gallery, National Eagle Center, Wabasha, MN
2019 Grand Marais Art Colony, Grand Marais, MN
2018 Minnesota Marine Art Museum, Winona, MN
2018 Stillwater Public Library, Stillwater, MN
2018 Phipps Center for the Arts, Hudson, WI, 2018
2018 Mill City Museum (Minnesota Historical Society), Minneapolis, MN
2018 St. Croix National Scenic Riverway Visitor Center, St. Croix Falls, WI
2018 Northern Great Lakes Visitors Center, Ashland, WI
2015-16 Northern Great Lakes Visitors Center, Ashland, WI
2014 Crary Art Gallery, Pennsylvania; Wilderness at 50 One of 11 photographers Celebrating 50 years since the passage of the Wilderness Act.
2013 Merrill Lynch Fine Art Gallery, within Great Lakes Aquarium
2012 Minnesota Marine Art Museum, Winona, Minnesota
2012 Merrill Lynch Fine Art Gallery, within Great Lakes Aquarium
2004 Minnesota Center for Photography, Minneapolis, Minnesota
2004 Tweed Museum of Art, Duluth, Minnesota
2004 Banfill-Locke Center for the Arts, Fridley MN
1995 Duluth Art Institute, Duluth, MN
1993 Tweed Museum of Art, Duluth, MN
1992 Polaroid Corporate Headquarters, Cambridge, MA
1991 Photographic Images Gallery, Portland, OR
AWARDS, HONORS Select list — most important in bold
2020 Black and White Spider Awards 1 honorable mention, 7 nominations
2019 Independent Publisher Book Awards (IPPY), 2 gold awards (international)
2019 Pub West Design Awards 1 gold and 1 silver award
2019 Pinnacle Book Achievement Award, Gold “Photography”
2019 Midwest Book Awards, 3 gold awards
2019 12th Annual International Color Awards, 7 nominations: Nature, Nudes, Wildlife
2019 13th Annual Spider Awards, 2 nominations: Nature, Wildlife,
2018 George Morrison Artist Award (from Arrowhead Regional Arts Council, MN)
2018 International Color Awards, 2 honorable mentions and one nomination
2015 International Photographer of the Year, 2nd Place, Professional Nudes
2015 Black and White Spider Awards, 5 nominations,
2012 International Photography Awards, several, including 2nd place in Books, Nature,
2012 International Book Awards, Finalist Awards for 2 books
2007 Midwest Independent Publishers, Best Illustrated book
2005 Midwest Independent Publishers, Best coffee table/art book
2005 Independent Publishers Book Awards (IPPY), Best Photography Book (international)
2005 Black and White Single Image contest, Bronze Award, Nudes (international)
1999 National Freedom Award, Nature/Art,
1996 Midwest Independent Publishers, Best Hardcover Book Award
1996 Mid-America Publishers Association, Best Photographic Book Award
1994 Lake Superior Magazine Achievement Award
1994 Minnesota Book Award, Illustrated Book
1994 Midwest Book Achievement Awards (3 including best hardcover)
BOOKS Selected list from 19 total
2022 LIGHT WAVES — Abstract Photographs of Reflections from Lake Superior
2018 ST. CROIX & NAMEKAGON RIVERS — The Enduring Gift (with one hour movie)
2012 APOSTLE ISLANDS — From Land and Sea
2012 PICTURED ROCKS — From Land and Sea
2007 Minnesota’s North Shore (with accompanying 3 hour movie)
2004 A VOICE WITHIN — The Lake Superior Nudes
1995 The Duluth Portfolio
1993 The Lake Superior Images
1988 BORDER COUNTRY, The Quetico-Superior Wilderness (re-issued in 1999)
1983 Minnesota Wild
VIDEOS Select list
2020 Pictured Rocks – From Land, Sea, and Air
2018 St. Croix & Namekagon River — The Enduring Gift (Shown on TPT-2 public tv)
2007 Minnesota’s North Shore (Shown on TPT-2 public tv)
MAGAZINES Selected credits – Bold indicates feature stories.
Fine Art Photo (Germany)
National Geographic Adventure
National Geographic Traveler
The New Nude
2023 State Arts Board Grant, Creative Support for Individuals.
2021 State Arts Board Grant
2021 Arrowhead Regional Arts Council: Emergency Working Artist Grant.
2020 Arrowhead Regional Arts Council: Emergency Working Artist Grant.
2018 Arrowhead Regional Arts Council: Career Development Grant
2017 Arrowhead Regional Arts Council: Technology Grant
2016 Arrowhead Regional Arts Council: Career Development Grant
2012 Arrowhead Regional Arts Council: Technology Grant
MAJOR COMMISSIONS Select list
2022 Northern Lakes Surgery Center, Moose Lake, MN
2019 Minneapolis St. Paul International Airport, MN
2018 Pine Heath Care, Sandstone, MN
2014 Children’s Hospital, Minneapolis, MN.
2005 Canal Park Lodge, Duluth, MN
Taught photography workshops since 1982 for the following venues
Complete Scholar, University of Minnesota, MN
Cuyahoga Valley Photographic Society, OH
Dynamic Nudes (Lake Powell,) UT
FOTOfusion, Palm Beach Photographic Centre, FL
Madeline Island School of the Arts, WI
Minnesota Center for Photography, MN
Minnesota Marine Art Museum, MN
Palm Beach Photographic Centre, FL
Split Rock Arts Program of the University of Minnesota, MN
Hundreds of programs including at art centers, museums, colleges and universities, professional conventions and camera clubs. Twice been the keynote speaker at the Twin Cities Area Camera Club annual meeting.
Palm Beach Photographic Centre 2022 Members’ Show.
- Co-founder and president of a non-profit nature sanctuary that for many years, in partnership with the Jerome Foundation, provided artist residencies, and protected hundreds of acres of wild land from development. All land and assets from this non-profit were donated to Osprey Wilds Environmental Learning Center in 2021.
- Senior Fellow at the Earl E. Bakken Center for Spirituality and Healing, where I write for the Mandala and have produced many hours of nature videos for use in health care and senior living.
- For 19 years, co-owner of Waters of Superior, a gallery/store in Duluth, Minnesota, showing the work of over 100 artists (Now permanently closed because of the pandemic).