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Islands 33 by Mel Smothers, Oil on Canvas, 48x48
Solo Exhibition
April 29 - May 29, 2015
Opening Reception
Thursday, May 7, 6:00-8:00pm
Meet the Artist @ Opening Reception
Artist Talk and Intro @ 7:30pm

I didn’t start out in Everglades National Park. I grew up in Northern California in the 1960’s under the influence of both the Hippies’ philosophy and Wayne Thiebaud’ s painting. I’ve had some success in New York City. In 2004, I moved my studio from Northern California to Bushwick in the Brooklyn borough of New York. In New York I was painting postcards to Andy Warhol, one of the art world’s most successful artist. I can tell you how that came about. In NYC, I found the successful art world did not seem concerned about creating art. It was about celebrity, being a business manager. It felt like making money replaced making art. I made my peace with the New York art world by beginning to communicate my differences with the dead Andy Warhol. I call these postcard like paintings, the Andy Dialogs. Because of the Andy Dialogs, I was able to show my work during Art Basel Week in Miami Beach each December. Driving down to Miami Beach with a pickup load of art, I threw in camping gear too. After the Art Week, my wife and I would go camping along the ocean in the Florida Keys. I also learned that over the years several artists have made studios down here. I moved mine down from New York in 2011. I'm here because of Everglades National Park, the Florida reef, and the fly fishing. I didn't plan on painting the landscape. There are hundreds of local artists doing a good job of that. Most days find me out cruising the back country, exploring the shoals and islands. Last year curator Melissa Chandon approached me about an idea for a landscape exhibit. I had been focused on my Andy Dialogs series for several years and not doing landscapes. When she explained her idea of using landscapes by my former professor Wayne Thiebaud and a few of his students working today, I liked her proposal. My subject was a boat ride out my back door. Everglades National Park is a mile away using a flats boat. With that I became interested in painting something that hasn't been done. I could satisfy my drive to explore color and form. I've tagged the series of paintings, "Islands," giving a clue to the conceptual mysterious subject and its universal form.

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