"Most of my art, in some way or another, tries to answer the question, 'Who am I?'" says Smith, looking at a particularly aggressive piece that he painted in 2006 called "The Lower 9th." The large oil-on-canvas features a pastiche of what he calls "derogatory caricatures" (including Aunt Jemima and "black-face" characters) surrounded by images of forgotten souls swept away in Hurricane Katrina.
"I'd hate to think that my history began with slavery" says Smith. "To me, that is a lie. But the remnants still exist today, especially in the way we have been depicted in culture. This is what I try to explore in my work." (excerpt from online biography at http://www.pnca.edu/exposure/stories/216/arvie-smith)
Regional Arts Council
The Oregon Arts Commission has ten Regional Arts Councils that provide delivery of art services and information. The Council for this location is: Linn-Benton Arts. You may view their website at: http://www.artcentric.org/