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June Visual Artist of the Month – Christopher Owen Smith

Much of my work focuses on the lives of local wildlife and plants, with a particular affinity for depicting the light and atmosphere in their world. Many are reverential drawings in charcoal, graphite or gouache, while other works reflect animals dealing with and being distracted by human industrial residue. Chance and a natural economy of marks are essential aspects of my process and I strive to use texture like painters use color. I’ve been making images since I was 4 and did my academic studies at Columbus College of Art & Design and the Pennsylvania Academy of the Fine Arts in Philadelphia. Afterward, I traveled to Japan for Soto Zen monastic training at Shosoji and Bukkokuji, and a sculptural/ceramic apprenticeship with Kakuho Saito. Following a cross-country road trip in 1996 I made my home in Northeast Ohio.

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