Soon after receiving a B.F.A from the University of Nebraska in 1980, Craig Roper moved to Santa Barbara, California. He began to collaborate with fellow artists in the area to self-produce a number of exhibitions and to gain exposure and recognition during the 1980’s art explosion. By 1985 he started working with Los Angeles gallery owners Bennett Roberts and Richard Heller and by age 29 Roper was exhibiting regularly in Los Angeles with five solo shows and numerous group shows, which led to exhibitions in New York, Miami, Maastricht & Rotterdam, as well as Paris, Cologne, Munich and Brescia, Italy.
Roper moved to New York City in late 1986 and then back to Nebraska in 1988 to start a family. In 1993 he and fellow artist Cameron Shaw were asked to exhibit at the Sheldon Museum of Art (“Two Guys From Nebraska”). Soon after that Roper earned his M.F.A. from UNL. Since that time, he has had around a dozen solo exhibitions in Omaha, Lincoln and Kearney, as well as numerous group shows and side endeavours.
From 2008- 2012 Roper operated ProjectRoom, a very small but highly influential art gallery in downtown Lincoln designed to exhibit work by Nebraska artists and to promote them to a national and international art audience by means of social media. Following that experience he was asked to be on the Board of MEDICI to help raise funds for the University of Nebraska Department of Art & Art History. His reputation as having an “eye for art” also landed him on the Exhibitions Committee of the Lux Center for the Arts, where he was asked to curate two surveys of Nebraska artists, “Greater Nebraska, Part One” was held in 2013, and “Greater Nebraska, About Human” ended in October 2015.
He is the recipient of a Vreeland Award for Outstanding Achievement in Painting from The University of Nebraska-Lincoln (1980), a photography grant from the Mid-America Arts Alliance, a Masters grant from the Nebraska Arts Council, a merit award from the Nebraska Arts Council, and has had art work published in The Paris Review.
Roper continues to create and exhibit, concentrating on a large body of work that can best be described as “conceptual landscape installation art.”
When not absorbed in his art practice, he is deeply involved in helping to manage his wife’s design studio, Sydney Lynch Jewelry, who in 2015 was named one of the top 10 art jewelry designers in the United States by Art Jewelry Magazine. Roper helps manage the day-to-day business needs of the studio in which they design, manufacture, market, wholesale and retail unique, hand-made, Nebraska-designed jewelry to 40-60 galleries and stores across the country.