Charles A. Smith’s Journey: Painting from Within

Larson Gallery announces Charles A. Smith’s Journey: Painting from Within, a unique retrospective exhibition featuring the work of Charles A. Smith—a practicing artist and educator who has been exhibiting his work professionally in the Yakima Valley since the late 1950s. He has shown his work at the Seattle Art Museum, The Henry Art Gallery at the University of Washington, the Tacoma Art Museum and other northwest venues. He has also exhibited in the Midwest. On display are works representing fifty plus years of his —painting life.

Smith had an early start, having his paintings first noticed while he was at Davis High School and was encouraged in an art career. By the time he arrived at Central Washington College (now CWU), he had mastered the principles and elements of art and used them instinctively as he began to experiment with abstract expressionism, the —art of the day.? A major influence on Smith’s work was his study at the San Francisco Art Institute in the mid-60s under the instruction of Richard Diebenkorn, the master of abstract expressionistic landscape. Smith’s method is to start with thin paint and to gradually develop a textured surface while leaving some marks and burying others. He likes grey as a basic color and prefers Payne's Grey for mixing. As he paints, the colors and forms change and the texture builds. Accidents are treasured and can take him in an entirely different direction. Edges are important in Smith paintings and give the viewer information about the transformations that have taken place. He uses large brushes, scrapers, sponges, spatulas, or anything he can find to move the paint around on the canvas with quick, broad strokes. His approach is free, relaxed, intuitive, yet based on a wealth of knowledge of painting and art.

The exhibit begins Friday, February 26 with an opening reception from 5:30-7:30 pm, and will continue through March 26. Many of the works are on loan from private art collections.

There will also be several related events: Abstract Acrylic Art: Express Yourself!, an abstract painting workshop hosted by instructor/artist Theresa Mullen; Allied Arts of Yakima will host a related exhibition in the Peggy Lewis Gallery during the same time. Influenced by Charles A. Smith features work by 23 former students of Smith created both in the classroom and present-day; and the Annual Arts Award Dinner honoring Charles A. Smith, this year.

Please note this year, the Gallery will be open during regular Gallery hours despite the fact that YVCC will be closed during spring break the week of March 22. Therefore, parking permits will not be required from March 23 –26. Gallery hours are Tuesday – Friday 10am–5pm, Saturday 1–5pm. Admission is free and the public is always welcome. Larson Gallery is located on the Yakima Valley Community College campus on the corner of Nob Hill Boulevard and 16th Avenue.