Who’s Dennis K. Smith?
You might know already, but I didn’t have a clue.
Dennis is a painter, teacher, and quite simply…one of the most fantastic people I’ve had the pleasure of meeting.
Not In My Backyard required another interview this week. February being Black History Month finds the city alive with events and shows highlighting the local black community and their history. With these events prevalent and in the greater-public eye, I stumbled across this event called Threads Through Time, presented by The Artists of Colour.
It takes place at Mackenzie Hall and The Common Ground Galler (same building) from February 6th until the 17th. Friday the 6th is the date of the opening party. I am, without a doubt, going to this, and I’m bringing my father, his wife Eileen, and possibly some other family member.
This exhibit will be hosting WORLD-CLASS artifacts from the underground railroad. To be more specific, they are quilts that were used to signal to the holder of the quilt details about the underground railroad…ensuring safe passage to Canada.
Apart from these quilts, there will be several works of art from Dennis K. Smith, his daughter Nicole Talbot, and several other professional and amateur artists of colour. And having been into Dennis K. Smith’s studio, I can tell you the quality of work he is producing is phenomenal.
Trained in fine art, Smith’s painting are all about stories. His affinity for history, personal and otherwise, is infectious and unavoidable when experiencing his work. A certain piece that he’s done, which was unfinished at the time of our interview is a mural of famous local and Canadian people of colour. The first black doctor, lawyer, The Real McCoy, and his own father are all featured prominently in this piece. It’s gorgeous. A who’s who of pioneering black Windsorites and Canadians is a patchwork of pride unmatched in any other painting I’ve seen.
Sitting with Dennis in his studio (gorgeous teaching space, by the way), drinking a fresh cup of coffee that he brewed up for us, we made an instant connection and spoke about the black community, the Artists of Colour community, and the importance of these showcases.
Here’s a HUGE video of the conversation I had with Smith, in his studio. TO see some of his unfinished works, and studio space, skip to the last two minutes of the video.
In the meantime, have a listen to our show from yesterday by CLICKING THIS LINK.
Our show is, as usual, 30 minutes long.
Did I mention that Adam’s interview was stellar as well?