Black Alumni StoriesYoung Alumni Series

Gregory Philip Curtis’11: Carving A Dream

Carving A Dream: Gregory Philip Curtis, woodworking entrepreneur

Gregory Philip Curtis

Gregory Philip Curtis passion is urban woodworking. From a young age he was fascinated with the mechanics behind how things work. Now he crafts his own masterpieces — still intrigued by design and construction.

“I think we all have an innate need to express ourselves — some draw, some sing. We just have to identify a medium that we’re comfortable with,” said Curtis ’11. “I chose wood.”

Graduating with a BA in Horticulture and a Masters in Landscape Architecture, he currently works for a development consulting and service firm which aids with building permits and construction inspection workflow

He is also an independent woodworking artist who sells decorative and practical pieces online.

“Each piece of wood from each tree tells a story,” Curtis said, and, perhaps, that is what makes his art form so alluring.

Curtis says he is inspired by life itself — exploring ideas sparked by music, patterns and even building construction.  He recently made a bench out of salvaged wood from a home in Atlanta built in the early 20th century.

He compared his artwork to the relationship between a parent and child, saying that it is impossible to choose his favorite. “Cosmopolitan 703,” however, is high on the list. Inspired by a house that he and his friends used to gather at, its sleekness and smooth black finish make for a perfect balance between sophisticatioPhilip's bench made from the burned Atlanta house.n and comfort.

Above all, he values God, family, and hard work. Even when times were tough, Curtis said his faith in God kept him going.

His family has largely shaped him, especially in his artistic foundation. Through their support he says he is able to bring his creativity to life. “Since I couldn’t draw well, my father taught me how to use tools and machines.”

Curtis is proud to have earned the title of young entrepreneur and artist, but admits that he never would be where he is now without his work ethic and drive to succeed. “Regardless of what field you choose, sweeping streets to open heart surgery, you will have to work hard if you want to be successful. There is no short-cut or secret.”