Monday, July 14, 2008
WHO: Ken Smith, Historical Artist
WHAT: Tennessee Conservationist Includes an Article About Historical Artist Ken Smith and His Fort Loudoun Painting Commission
WHEN: July 2008
WHERE: Tennessee Conservationist Magazine
When flipping through the pages of this month’s Tennessee Conservationist, one cannot help but notice an article about historical artist Ken Smith and his Fort Loudoun Painting series. Looking at the two completed oil paintings, one is taken back in time to the beginnings of the British occupation of the fort site in what is now Vonore, Tennessee. Maybe it is the regal Cherokee chief in “Over the Hills” or the desperation seen in the faces of the provincial solider in ”Mud & Blood” that allows one to forget about the modern chaos of society. However, there is more to preserving these moments artistically than putting oil on canvas; planning, coordinating, composing, researching the details, and an amount of sweat that one might leave one astonished.
This month’s issue of the Tennessee Conservationist magazine chronicles the process that Smith uses to create his oil paintings. In the article “Oil and Sweat: An Artist’s Perspective of the History of Ft. Loudoun,”, Smith provides a behind-the-scenes look at these paintings commissioned by the Fort Loudoun Association for the park’s 250th anniversary of its founding. This is a five-year project, with each year adding a new depiction of the time when Red Coats and Cherokees roamed East Tennessee. The article discusses the very human aspects of Smith's work including his models and their experience in the artistic process.
“I always find it interesting to see the behind-the-scenes activity that goes into a piece of visual art, and I’m happy that Tennessee Conservationist readers will have a chance to see a little of the artistic process of the Fort Loudoun series” Smith says about the article.
Tennessee Conservationist is published bi-monthly by the State of Tennessee’s Department of Environment and Conservation. For information about the magazine, visit http://www.tennessee.gov/environment/tn_consv/.
For more information about Fort Loudoun (and to buy your own limited edition print of these paintings) go to www.fortloudoun.com.
Smith is the Creative Director for Media South, a creative services company in Knoxville, Tennessee. He holds a BFA from the University of Tennessee, an MA from Syracuse University and a Master of Fine Arts from the University of Hartford. He is also available for commissions and portraits. To see more of Smith’s work, visit www.kensmithhistoricalart.com.