Greasewood Gallery features J.R. Smith work
MARFA – Greasewood Gallery at the Hotel Paisano will host a new exhibit beginning today: “Edges and Options” is a new collection of work by J. R. Smith of Alpine.
A public artist’s reception will be hosted at the gallery on Saturday from 6-8 p.m.
Smith began to draw in his early early years. In the 1970s Smith had his first dedicated studio while teaching a summer and a semester in Southern California. “My vacationing mother grabbed some things in the studio and framed them. She then entered them in the monthly show of the Carlsbad Oceanside Art League. Two were large watercolor ranch pictures for clients back in Texas. At that time, if it wasn’t a seagull or beach scene they didn’t pay much mind to it. However, prisma colored pencils had just come out. With a new set I drew a lion’s head on the kid’s orange construction paper. She framed it too and it won an honorable mention along with all the beach and seascapes.”
In the 1980s, with a new studio in Dallas, an artist friend encouraged Smith to enter a nationally juried show in New York. The jury picked the work of seventeen artists from across the country and Smith’s work was one of the pieces. During that period my work was selected for a national juried show in Colorado and one in Texas.
Smith was introduced to a New York agent and art consultant who raved about the work but stressed that Smith needed to pick one thing and concentrate on that theme or subject matter. “So far I haven’t taken her advice.”
Soon after, he was selected for a one-man show at the Eiseman Center for the Arts in Richardson, Texas and a three wall mural for the Victim’s Outreach Center, just South of SMU in Dallas.
Smith was also commissioned to do a piece for the Hyatt Regency Hotel at DFW Airport. Their parent company commissioned 20 Texas artists to each take a 20” x 20” canvas with a particular assignment for it. “Mine was to portray a pair of Lucchese Boots without labeling it as such. I stood a boot beside a four poster bed with another lying against it. The bed had a muted Indian blanket on it and a Lucchese Boot Box under the bed. They thought that worked well.”
Since returning to West Texas in 2005 various inventories of Smith’s art have been shone in numerous one-man and group shows. Three commission mural panels were done for a restaurant in Fort Davis in 2006. In 2011 a mural panel was done for the entryway of the new Big Bend Cowboy Church East of Alpine. A five month project was a total redoing of the Alpine Chamber of Commerce mural. This mural faces the AMTRAK passenger ramp behind Miguel’s Fina on Holland Avenue. An award winning painting, view from the dining area of the Hotel Americana in Cabo San Lucas to outside blooming bougainvilleas, was recently purchased for the Holland Hotel in Alpine.
Of the current show at Greasewood Gallery, Smith says, “Color has been known to influence a person’s mood and attitude. That being the case, I hope my colors can produce a pleasing experience. I strive to record unique people, places and things in an enjoyable image.
“I value the overall image over extreme detail. It took twenty years to get over that hump. Like designers on press checks tell pressmen to ‘Pump up the color,’ I too, like to ‘pump it up.’ Nature and the world around us offer a kaleidoscope of inspiration daily.
“Art consultants and critics prefer an artist stick to one area of style and subject matter. Over thirty years ago while painting on the ranch I was referred to as a “cowboy artist”. There’s a certain confinement to that label that was resisted. When an art critic described my work as “feel good art” rather than “fine art”, I felt I had arrived at my destination. When a client tells me the picture takes them back to that favorite place, event or memory, I feel I have done my job. The abstracts reflect a mental, a past or present mystery image of my mind.”
Greasewood Gallery is located on the corner of North Highland Avenue and Texas Street in the Hotel Paisano in Marfa. The gallery is open Sun-Wed, 9 a.m.-6 p.m. and Thur-Sat, 9 a.m.-9 p.m.Information:www.hotelpaisano.com, 432.729.3669.
Story filed under: Arts