By SHARRON ECKERT
For The Vista
The Shanks Center for the Arts is honored to be exhibiting works by Katie L. Smith of Fairfield Glade in August.
Smith’s exhibit will begin with a grand opening reception on the August 1 from 5 to 7 P.M., and will continue through Saturday August 24.
Smith is a visual artist using pastels and acrylics to create art that reflects her inner emotions. She has been creating art since the late 1980’s.
Smith was a victim of a brain stem stroke in her 15th year. As a result of the stroke, she has considerable disabilities that would normally inhibit the creation of visual art but largely due to her inner spirit, her disabilities are not reflected in the quality of her art.
In fact, in an article she wrote for Stroke magazine, Katie referred to her art as the gift that stroke gave. Because she cannot communicate verbally, Katie uses colors and flowing shapes to communicate her inner feelings.
It is often easy to tell if she is happy, sad, or angry when her art was created. Regardless of the underlying mood, Smith’s art always reflects beauty.
She received a degree with honors inStudio Art from Kennesaw University in Atlanta George in 1995.
In her course work, Katie worked and demonstrated skill in a large variety of media but after graduation she specialized in Pastels, Acrylics, and Pottery.
Her art has been recognized with awards in competition with artists with and without disabilities. Smith’s art is displayed in many businesses, homes, churches and government offices in Atlanta and more recently in East Tennessee.
While her art indeed shows her impression of beauty found in flowers or sunsets or butterflies or other things in nature, her art form is best described as a colorist. It is Katie’s unique choice of color combinations that gives life to the impression.
Smith’s disabilities prevent her from copying precise shapes and images so her art shows forms or shapes that come from her heart.
Smith is always accompanied by her service dog Dylan. While Dylan is not an art critique, her companionship is vital to Katie’s life. Because of the relationship of Katie’s art to her inner emotions, one can get to know Katie by viewing her work. Katie considers this ability to communicate through her art as a blessing.
There will be 41 original works by Katie Smith on exhibit at the Shanks Center July 31 through August 24.
The Shanks Center is located at 140 North Main Street, across from the Depot, in Crossville.
The Center is open Wednesday through Saturday from 10 A.M. to 4 P.M. CDT. Parking is available behind the building at Taylor and Thurman Avenues.
For more information, call the Shanks Center at