For Randy Hanna at City Art Gallery in the Vista, art is his life. A none-too-shabby visual artist himself, Hanna has a proverbial eye for art that stands out above the rest due to anything from its color palette to it execution. Once in a while, Hanna will reach out to let us know that something special is going up on the walls of the spacious turn-of-the-century railroad warehouse where he and Wendyth Wells have been showing art and selling art supplies for years.
We’ve learned to listen.
When Hanna contacted us yesterday to make sure we knew about Dan Smith‘s exhibit opening tonight with a reception from 5 to 8 and running through January 1st, he not only said that he hoped I’d get to see this exhibit, he continued with, “I don’t think we’ve ever shown anything like it.”
The title of the show is “US: A Civil War, Artwork by Dan Smith” and here’s some more about Smith and his work that Hanna was good enough to share with us so that we could share it with you:
Smith’s new body of work includes mixed media paintings, as well as photographs and installations inspired by the American Civil War. On May 15, 2014 the artist began his Civil War Travels throughout the United States visiting specific Civil War sites. Many of the sites presented 150 year-old re-enactments. Along with extensive reading, the sites became inspiration for Smith’s artworks. Sites like Ft. Fisher in Wilmington, NC, the Shenandoah Valley of VA, Columbia, SC, Andersonville, GA, and Lookout Mountain, TN, inform much of the work.
In 1986, Smith received a graduate fellowship from the University of South Carolina and moved to Columbia to earn his MFA in Painting. The US: A Civil War show is a component of a larger collection of works organized chronologically under what Smith calls his Extended Sites collection, which incorporates the dichotomies of nature and man into an ‘art ecology’. Previous exhibitions under the Extended Sites moniker were based on the English colonist John Smith of Jamestown, VA, fame, and the frontiersman Daniel Boone. “My art is about death and life packed in with stories. Mathew Brady’s story and work are woven into the US: A Civil War exhibition. Ultimately the show is about me and my associations with the Manland thesis I began at USC almost 30 years ago”.
The artist will continue his research for two additional Civil War exhibits in Newton and Sherrills Ford, NC, in 2016. Partial funding for these and his City Art Gallery exhibition were provided by a grant from the United Arts Council of Catawba County through the North Carolina Art Council with funding from the State of North Carolina and the National Endowment for the Arts which believes a great nation deserves great art.
Smith’s art has been featured in numerous exhibitions during the past 35 years including NYC, San Francisco, CA, Seattle, WA, Washington, DC, TX, FL, NM, VA, NC and the recent Artfields competition in Lake City, South Carolina. His artwork is included in collections throughout the US.
City Art Gallery is located at 1224 Lincoln St. in the historic Congaree Vista area in Columbia, South Carolina. Gallery hours are Monday – Thursday 10:00 a.m. until 6 p.m., Friday 10:00 a.m. – 5 p.m. and Saturdays 11 a.m. to 3 p.m. For more information contact Wendyth Wells, City Art Gallery, at 803-252-3613.