Smith’s Art Garners Accolades

by Alex Keys
Columnist

For Transylvania alumnus Patrick Smith, 2011 had a surprising start.

Smith, who graduated in 2008, never planned on becoming an artist. In fact, he came to Transy with the intention of majoring in mathematics. However, after a friend’s mother insisted he take a course in painting, Smith quickly took interest in the art form.

Alumnus Patrick Smith ’08 switched his focus from mathematics to art after taking a painting course at Transy.

“It was something that I could do for hours and hours and not get bored of it,” Smith said. “I still like it; it’s never a chore.”

As a student, Smith had a few small showcases around Lexington, but he took a brief break from production when he graduated. He then moved to Lebanon, Va., where he worked for two years as an AmeriCorps VISTA (Volunteer in Service to America) by managing environmental projects in Appalachia. However, he painted when he got the chance and was constantly inspired by his surroundings at work.

“All of my paintings are just reflective of what’s going on in my life at the time. It’s all kind of autobiographical, but it’s not about me, it’s about what I’m seeing,” said Smith.

Upon returning to Lexington, Smith released his latest show, “119 Rodgers Street,” which was inspired by his two years in Lebanon.

“I lived in government housing and it was a double life,” Smith said. “By day I worked with middle- to upper-class people and by night I lived in extreme poverty.”

“119 Rodgers Street” reflects upon the duality Smith experienced. The show is now ending its one-month stay at Swanson Reed Contemporary in Louisville, Ky.

For now, Smith is back at work on his next show, which is scheduled for a January 2012 release at Transy’s own Morlan Gallery.

“I’m about to study Leonardo da Vinci very intensely, and I will start painting on March 1,” Smith said. “(But) I don’t know what’s going to happen. I really never know what I’m going to do more than a few weeks ahead of time.”

But whatever Smith is up to, he should probably keep it up. This month, Louisville’s 21c Museum Hotel purchased three of Smith’s paintings (“Islam,” “Ellen” and “Methamphetamines”) for display in its gallery. His reaction was purely ecstatic.

“Everybody in that place is famous. Internationally famous!” Smith said. “I’m not even inter-Lexington famous at the moment.”

You can see images of Smith’s work on his website, http://popgoestherifle.com.

A review of “119 Rodgers Street” can be found on the Louisville Eccentric Observer (LEO) Weekly’s website, http://leoweekly.com/ae/art-context.

If you missed the show, Smith will be displaying much of his work during the Lexington Gallery Hop on Feb. 18 at Thoroughbred Antique Gallery from 5 to 8 p.m.

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