Up & Coming Weekly

July 20, 2021

Up and Coming Weekly is a weekly publication in Fayetteville, NC and Fort Bragg, NC area offering local news, views, arts, entertainment and community event and business information.

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Page 13 of 24

WWW.UPANDCOMINGWEEKLY.COM JULY 21-27, 2021 UCW 13 COVER His style is a way to express his personal narrative about states of being — specifically his experiences of being an African Ameri- can male in America. Even though grow- ing up Black in America continues to have serious challenges and obstacles in Ameri- can culture, we leave Revelation: 50 Years of Painting understanding how joyfulness, spirituality, love of music, love of dance, and love of life are the core of Dwight Smith's beingness: and it is this feeling, or state of being, which is communicated throughout his work. It is important to understand why an artist has the impulse to create, but it is also impor- tant to know what choices an artist's makes that encourage or support their efforts to re- main an artist. For Smith, a key influence was an African American art organization which was estab- lished in the 1950s, the National Conference of Artists, Michigan Chapter. While galleries and the "artworld" were not promoting African American artists up until the 1990s, the NCA was an important meet- ing place for artists to work together, encour- age each other, have exhibits, travel to other countries, and network. As a very young and emerging artist, Smith was able to interface with a network of seasoned African Ameri- can artists, many historically important in American Art. Mentored by John A. Lockart, knowing David Driskell, Howandena Pin- dell, Romare Bearden, Shirley Woodson and Al Loving had the greatest influence on his personal development of style. After retiring from a career as the advertis- ing and display coordinator for the Automo- bile Club of Michigan in 2007 (and remain- ing an exhibiting artist), Smith, and his immediate family (partner Calvin Mims and Shirley Mims) moved to Fayetteville. Besides being an artist, the move to North Carolina began a new chapter in his life when he became an educator. Currently Smith is a tenured Associate Professor of Art at Fayetteville State University in the Depart- ment of Performing and Fine Art. While teaching at Fayetteville State Uni- versity with a master's degree, another important influence on Smith was when he decided to go back to graduate school to earn a Master of Fine Art at the Art Institute of Boston. He stated, "Everyone needs something or someone to solidify the legitimacy of your work during different phases. While earning my MFA the comments from the visiting art- ists helped to do that. As well, it was a period when I could revisit and analyze my work up to that point." Smith's accomplishments as an artist are way too extensive to start listing in this editorial. It suffices to say he is an artist who continues to show regionally, nationally and internationally, his works continues to be purchased by collectors, his paintings are in many private and public collections, includ- ing museums, and he has received many national honors and awards. Dwight Smith (and his partner Calvin Mims) have had a significant impact on the arts in Fayetteville by owning and operating Ellington White Contemporary Gallery on Gillespie Street. In addition, Smith has significantly contributed to the cultural landscape of Fayetteville and nationally by exhibiting, his continued participation in NCA, scholarly presentations, curating significant exhibits, and his community/profes- sional service. Revelation: 50 Years of Paint- ing at the Art Council is well worth the time to visit. But it is not an exhibit to rush through. One will have to spend quiet time with the work to see how a consummate artist gives evi- dence to a well-known statement: By know- ing your craft, you spend less time in think- ing about the process and can focus on the "why" of painting." e exhibition opens during 4th Friday on July 23. e public is invited to the free event, and the exhibition will remain up un- til September 11. For information on the exhibition call the Arts Council at 910-323-1776 or visit www. theartscouncil.com/. e Arts Council is located at 301 Hay St. in Fayetteville. Hours of operation are Mon- day – ursday from 9 a.m. until 5 p.m. and Friday from 9 a.m. until noon. "Homage to Al Loving" by Dwight Smith SONI MARTIN, Gallery 208 Curator. COMMENTS? Editor@upandcomin- gweekly.com. 910-484-6200. "A Conversation with Norman Lewis" by Dwight Smith "Girl in the Yellow Raincoat" by Dwight Smith His style is a way to express his personal nar- rative about states of being — specifically his experiences of being an African American male in America.

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