There will be a celebration of Barbara Miller-Smith’s art during the month of October at the Seven Stars Gallery. The Gallery is Open Friday 10AM – 4:30 & Sat/Sun 10:00 AM – 5:00
Artist Reception on Oct 15th 2-6PM Free Event
Help Is On the Way: The Art of Barbara Miller-Smith
It’s hard to put a label on the work of Barbara Miller-Smith (1947-2022). Vibrant, Whimsical, Charming, Psychedelic, Colorful, Joyful, and Inspiring are words that come to mind. Barbara lived to paint, and painted to live, and her decades-long love affair with her art came to an end with her death in July of this year.
Barbara was born and raised in northern Indiana. In her mid-20s, she developed an interest in doodling elaborate drawings composed of tiny circles. This was an intense period of discovery and exploration.
In 1979, Barbara moved with her artist friends to Berkeley, California. In 1980, she landed on the San Juan Ridge, which was to be her home for the next 40 years. She became fully immersed in her art. She devoted herself to her painting, and she would paint chairs, tables, doors, floors, Styrofoam, rocks, and other objects, making them magnificent. Her style was reminiscent of Kandinsky (she had his artwork tattooed on the back of her hands), Klee, Matisse, Pollack, and Picasso, but her paintings were always explorations of her inner depths. Her acrylic and mixed media paintings tell stories of love and longing, worlds under the sea, and animals that wore human visages. Her work was informed by her travels to Mexico, Hawaii, Europe, and Southeast Asia, and the vibrancy of the natural world around her.
Despite years of chopping wood and gardening, she was always elegant and stylish, clothed in wonderful boutique and secondhand finds, and immaculate manicures and jewelry. She would have looked at home on Fifth Avenue in New York. Her paintings have been exhibited in Nevada City, Grass Valley, and North San Juan, and are on walls locally and – literally – all over the world