Spring season at the Luther W. Brady Art Gallery at the George Washington University opened with “Clarice Smith: Captured Moments,” an exhibition of 28 paintings by the artist, philanthropist and GW alumna and honorary degree recipient.
Ms. Smith’s work includes realistic landscapes, floral images and portraits, focusing on “captured moments” from her life—imagery of horses, a study of clouds seen in the western sky and scenes captured after visits to the Isle of Harris in Scotland.
“I paint the scenes of my life,” Ms. Smith said, “I’m not interested in just painting a pretty flower—I want to invoke a memory or a feeling.”
The Brady Gallery exhibit includes some of Ms. Smith’s older works as well as several new pieces that have never been exhibited before. These include a cloud study she completed after visiting Santa Fe, N.M.
“I went to Santa Fe for the first time and was blown over by what the sky looked like,” she said. “When people see [those] paintings, they really feel where I was.”
Ms. Smith said she also enjoys painting equestrian scenes, although several of the equestrian works displayed in “Captured Moments” are different from what she normally paints.
“I usually do horse pictures that are realistic—races and pictures with feeling and movement,” she explained. But she was recently asked to do a painting that could be used as a poster to highlight the Piedmont Steeplechase. Ms. Smith created a vibrantly colored image of horses silhouetted against the starting gates at a race that includes strong lines and shapes that are clear when viewed at a distance. She completed this work, titled “Leaving the Gate,” in 2011.
Director and Chief Curator of University Galleries Lenore Miller, M.F.A. ’72, called Ms. Smith “an artist of great vision” and highlighted the “sweeping, dramatic skies” in the cloud study pieces Ms. Smith is showing for the first time at the Brady Gallery.
Ms. Smith earned a B.A. from GW in 1976 and an M.A. in 1979, and was a member of the faculty in the Department of Fine Arts and Art History from 1980 to 1987. In 2012, she received an honorary doctorate degree from GW. She has exhibited her work in galleries around the world, including New York, London, Zurich and Jerusalem.
“Captured Moments” opened on Jan. 17 and will be on view through March 15. The Luther W. Brady Gallery is open Tuesday through Friday, 10 a.m. through 5 p.m.