Vonore, Tennessee, Sept. 12, 2009. The war paint speaks loudly as three Cherokee Warriors sit waiting on the outskirts of Fort Loudoun. They watch the Provincials that have come to provide provisions for the Independent Company of South Carolina, who are garrisoned at the British fort in what would become known today as Vonore, Tennessee. The year is 1759 and this is the subject of the latest Ken Smith historical art print commemorating the 250th anniversary of the life of Fort Loudoun. A limited edition of 250 prints will be available for sale to the public, and the art will be on permanent loan to the Fort Loudoun Association, to be displayed at the Fort Loudoun State Historic Area Visitor Center..
This is the forth painting by Smith in the five-year build-up to the 250th anniversary of the fall of Fort Loudoun. The Fort Loudoun Association commissioned Smith to create historical paintings based on events of each year of the fort’s existence. The first painting was Over the Hills: Sergeant Gibbs and the Advance Party, which depicted the partnership between the Cherokee and the Redcoats in securing a site for the building of the fort. The second painting was Mud and Blood: Carolina Builds a Fort in the Overhills. A grimy crew begin the tiring process of building the structures of the fort and its protective earthworks. The third was Hard Bargain: The Cherokee Prepare for War, which depicts the British leadership of the fort supplying their allies, the Cherokee, with guns to help fight the French.
The current painting’s subject is more terse then the other three before it. In this, there is a definite division between the Cherokee and the British. Hostilities are mounting, in what will culminate with the Cherokee besieging the fort and the eventual massacre of thirty-three members of the garrison at Cane Creek after the British surrendered the fort.
“It’s interesting to depict the declining relationship between the British and their Cherokee allies. I’m looking forward to seeing how it all turns out,” says Smith about his latest painting.
Smit is the recent recipient of the U.S. Coast Guard Art Program’s George Gray Award for Artistic Excellence for his painting Air Station Savannah. In Knoxville, Smith’s Over the Hills from the Fort Loudoun series is prominently featured in the Museum of East Tennessee History’s permanent exhibit.
Arrival of the Buffs was unveiled Saturday, September 12, 2009, during Fort Loudoun’s Annual Colonial Trade Faire and will remain at the park’s Visitor Center after the Trade Faire is concluded. Limited edition prints of Arrival of the Buffs are available for purchase, as well as prints from the previous years.
For more information about Fort Loudoun’s Colonial Trade Fair or to purchase prints, call Angie King at Fort Loudoun State Historic Area (432-884-6217), or visit www.kensmithhistoricalart.com.