Dennis “Craig” Canoy was born in 1943 in Silverton, Oregon, to Frances Grace Walker and Virgil David Canoy. He had two siblings: Kent Canoy and Shelley DeSimone. An avid outdoor enthusiast, Craig enjoyed hiking, backpacking, free-heel skiing, and rock-climbing, including ice and snow climbing.
Craig earned an undergraduate degree from the University of Oregon and thereafter taught art and design in the Hillsboro Union High School District for three decades. He lived in several cities on the western side of Oregon before relocating to La Grande upon retirement in the 1990s. He loved the Elkhorn Mountains, Anthony Lakes, and the Owyhee high country of southeast Oregon.
Often focused on depicting the beauty of the natural world, Craig worked primarily in pastel. He exhibited his work in three galleries in Oregon, including Portland State’s Littman Gallery, the Kathrin Cawein Gallery of Art at Pacific University, and Peterson’s Gallery in Baker City.
Upon his death in 2020, Craig made a cash bequest to Art Center East (ACE) and left his art collection to ACE for the purposes of fundraising. Many of the pieces in the collection are his own work, but he also was actively attentive to and collected the work of regional artists. A benefit show was held in Summer 2021 to honor his legacy. Proceeds from this exhibit represent an investment in the community art classes and events that draw on the power of artistic expression to nourish us and connect us to one another through the joy of encountering and creating art.