“This’n That” Apropos Appropriation by Jerry Smith

Fort Worth Community Arts Center

Aug. 2, 2024 - Aug. 21, 2019

1300 Gendy Street
Fort Worth, 76107
PHONE 817.738.1938


After completing my Dad’s farm estate sale, I recognized that his whole life included the concept of collecting things, for the purpose we today call “repurposing”. Whether it was a barn or basement, the walls were a visual statement of eclecticism. Items were hung by nails on studs, packed onto shelves, and displayed, awaiting the day that one would wander by, and say “that’s exactly what I need right now”. I think my art comes from same experience: objects and ideas and images, packed to fill the spaceof a canvas or picture frame in the same manner of my upbringing, (albiet with a more formal design awareness). While a series of paint-by-number inspired works are a contrast with a budding series of self-portrait collages, their differences in content and intent are overshadowed by my personal recognition that the process is exactly the same. Aquisition, contemplation and repurposing. I had vintage school charts, and tacky paint-by-number artworks that literally have been carried with me for a score of years. I have sheets of self portrait demonstration drawings made in class for teaching purposes–after the lesson, who wants a picture of the artist?. I have folders of old test scantron sheets from days of curriculum committee work, lamenting work quality and plummeting grades. I store away phrases from politicians and preachers, children and spouse. Somewhere in my absent-minded professor ADHD–squirrel!– distracted mind , things come together, and as as time allows, a product comes from the free-association simmering stew pot.. (I think I collect too many objects and metaphors at the drop of a hat!)

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