PFF featured artist Arvie Smith was born in 1938 in the Jim Crow South where he lived with his grandparents and great-grandmother, a former slave. As a teen, he moved to live in the de facto segregated areas of South Central Los Angeles and Watts. These early years laid the groundwork for his life’s work as a spokesperson for injustices toward people of color, an advocate for social justice for all oppressed people, and a painter. Smith is Professor Emeritus of Painting at Pacific Northwest College of Art in Portland, Oregon where he taught from 1984 to 2014. Prior teaching included Maryland Institute College of Art, University of Oregon and Oregon College of Art and Crafts. Smith studied printmaking at Il Bisonte and painting at SACI in Florence, Italy and received his BFA at PNCA and his MFA from Hoffberger School of Painting, Maryland Institute College of Art, where he was teaching assistant to Grace Hartigan.
Arvie’s work was recently exhibited at the Portland Art Museum APEX Gallery, a gallery dedicated to highlighting Northwest artists. Follow this link to the PAM website to watch an interview with Arvie. https://portlandartmuseum.org/exhibitions/apex-arvie-smith/
Image right: Arvie Smith, Trail of Tears
Image below: Arvie Smith, Trapeze Artist