AFRO-AMERICAN MUSIC INSTITUTE CELEBRATES 36 YEARS
Pain Relief Beyond Belief
Information needed on Billy R. Smith from relatives or friends for obituary:
Art Reviews: Marvelous diversity on display in local art scene
Saturday, January 23, 1999
By Mary Thomas, Post-Gazette Arts Writer
While out and about this week I was reminded of the rich array of art activity in Pittsburgh. From folk to formal, in exhibition or lecture hall, quality was a common denominator of several rewarding experiences.
|The late Pittsburgh artist Carl "Dingbat" Smith with one of his nail and board sculptures. Nineteen works by Smith are at The Society for Contemporary Crafts' satellite gallery in the "T" station lobby of One Mellon Bank Center. Photographs of Smith by his friend Al Kipela accompany the work. (Al Kipela)|
The fanciful and incredibly formed relief sculptures of the late African-American artist and eclectic Pittsburgh personality Carl "Dingbat" Smith are celebrated in an exhibition at The Society for Contemporary Crafts' One Mellon Bank Center satellite gallery. Photographs of Smith by his friend, Al Kipela, enrich the display.
Smith was born in the Hill District in 1927, and died in the late 1980s. Although the self-taught artist used humble materials - nails pounded into boards - his skill and finesse produced striking works. With all of the current interest in folk art, this exhibition provides a standard against which to measure; but, even better, it's a pure delight to see.
Through Feb. 13, daily until midnight.
Smith's exhibition complements the SCC's concurrent "Stop Asking/We Exist: 25 African-American Craft Artists," a dynamic gathering of 70 works that are so energetic they almost shout and so good that they command attention without having to do so. Panelists at an excellent related symposium last week affirmed the value and influence of past traditions in the understanding of self and the content of their future work.
A full-color catalog contains a feisty statement by guest curator and Baltimore glass, fiber and performance artist Joyce Scott. From Pittsburgh, the show travels to the American Craft Museum in New York, the New Bedford Museum of Art in Massachusetts and the Mobile Museum of Art, Alabama.
If anyone has any information that may help to locate his relatives or add to his obituary, please contact his wife, Lora, who will be in Pittsburgh until November 24, 2013 at 678-822-7763. If any friends are able to or would like to donate any money toward his final expenses, please send to Wells Fargo Bank, Account #: 061000227. Thank you.