Thursday, March 11, 2010

‘Nature’s Forces’ Can Be Found At Macey

By John Larson

SOCORRO – One of the area’s most prolific artists has completed another year’s work.
A show of the paintings of Joel Smith, called “Nature’s Forces,” opened Tuesday, March 2 at Macey Center on the New Mexico Tech campus. It runs until April 5.
The new show is comprised of entirely desert landscapes.
“The desert presents many things to an artist,” Smith said. “Being alone in the desert has been, to many, a spiritual experience. Like prophets who go off for the solitude of the desert and come back spiritually awakened and enlightened.”
Smith feels that some of the desert areas of the Southwest imparts a connection to nature through light and clarity. This awareness is what Smith is able to transfer to canvas.
“When you find yourself connecting with it, you know you do exist. You are part of it,” he said.
Several of Smith’s 45 paintings at Macey Center were inspired by the sky, mountains, and rock formations around Socorro, as well as one of this favorite sites, Capital Reef National Park in Utah.
Smith prefers to work outside, as opposed to working from photographs and likes to have two or three paintings going at the same time.
“When the light or weather changes, I can go to one of the other paintings,” Smith said.
Smith has spent his life perfecting his art, both as a working artist and college-level art teacher. His paintings are exhibited in international museums, including the Museum of Modern Art, the Tate Museum in London, the contemporary Museum in Tokyo and many others. He has received a number of awards and enjoys doing one-man shows.
“This show [at Macey] should be of interest to the people of Socorro, those who love San Lorenzo Canyon and Box Canyon, and I hope to meet many of them at the reception,” he said.
The artist’s reception will be Monday, Mar. 22, from 6 to 7 p.m. at Macey Center, immediately before the Presidential Chamber Music concert.

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