Cortney Wall Crawford '03 Creates a Philanthropic Impact through Art
“Painting is a gift. Working with great people is my passion. Being fortunate to make an impact partnering with charitable causes is my purpose. I am so thankful to SRDS and Alice Steinke for helping me discover my love for art. I know this is where my passion for art really took root.”
Cortney (Wall) Crawford attended Saddle River Day School from 5th grade through her senior year. She graduated from SRDS in 2003. During the summer before she started college, Cortney was preparing to appear in her first group exhibition as the youngest artist in the Negro Leagues Baseball Museum (NLBM) of Kansas City, Missouri. The show was titled “Shades of Greatness” and the objective was to illustrate the experience of the black athletes playing in the Negro Leagues during a time when our country was segregated. The artwork Cortney was creating was both controversial and culturally sensitive. She was presenting two chairs, one labeled “BLACK” featuring her painting of Jackie Robinson on the seat the other labeled “WHITE” featured a painting of Ty Cobb. The artwork, titled “The Same Game” was a homerun, and set the tone for the young artist’s career that would continue to impact people and communities around the country by her work. “The Same Game” was selected as a part of a traveling exhibition reaching universities, museums and ballparks around the U.S. The incredible experience working with the NLBM taught Cortney the power art possesses and its ability to impact people when aligned with important causes. Creating art for a greater purpose became her passion and set the tone for her career as a woman in sports.
Cortney graduated from the Parsons School of Design in NYC with a Bachelors of Fine Arts. While attending Parsons, she was hired to paint the starting line-up for the New York Yankees for the scoreboards department. The twelve paintings were then displayed on the big screen TV as each player would step up to bat in the final season of the old house that Ruth built. Following her education at Parsons, she began forming partnerships with athletes and charitable organizations where she could continue to serve communities with her art and benefit causes with the sales of her paintings.
Highlights of her career include presenting her artwork to CC Sabathia on the field of Yankee Stadium. She was interviewed on MLB Network's 'Hot Stove' on Martin Luther King Jr. Day in 2015 with Harold Reynolds to discuss a series of paintings titled “The Legacy Series” created for the 2012 MLB All Star Game. She also painted live in Madison Square Garden as the official artist for World Tennis Day in 2015, painting Roger Federer, Monica Seles, Gabriela Sabatini and Grigor Dimitrov. But Cortney says she is most proud of her four twelve foot murals in the John Theurer Cancer Center of Hackensack University Medical Center. Through this display, she has established partnerships with numerous non-profit foundations that enable her to help benefit people in need through the sales of her artwork.
On September 25th of this year, Cortney made her second appearance on the MLB Network where she was interviewed with her latest work and gifted a painting to the set. She is currently partnered with Bernie Williams and Jorge Posada of the New York Yankees and is working on a series of original paintings and has designed T-shirts that will be sold to raise money to help rebuild Puerto Rico. To see more of her work or purchase T-shirts in support of this cause, visit www.cortneywall.com.