Barbara Smith

Artist's story

Native Americans

Spiritual Characters & Spirit Boxes

In March of 1998 I traveled to New Mexico, touring various reservations, galleries and art facilities. Quite simply, I fell in love with Santa Fe and all of the southwest with its vast artistic resources. My visit rekindled a longtime love of Indian art and culture. Walking around surrounded by all the beautiful work, I felt an irresistible urge to begin my creative ability as an artist. I have traveled throughout the nation, Canada and Alaska exhibiting my work.

My art is used as a teaching tool by a Lakota teacher for his Lakota school children. He uses my creations to enlighten their imagination. He teaches them to remember their future begins with their past. My work depicts all American Indian Cultures, from Northwest, Southwest to South America.

The naive quality of my work is admirable yet straightforward. In our modern era of complexity and congestion, I seek to capture images that are simple, unaffected and refreshingly innocent. Using acrylics, I create bright and colorful images of the Southwest, Northwest and South America. A Navajo sculptor once said after viewing my work, "You must have been a great warrior in your past life to be able to create such spiritual images." My art opens my soul and reflects my spirit, it is my passion in life.

My vision to create is powered by my imagination. It is endless. I don't measure myself by what I've accomplished but by what I can accomplish more.

Barbara Smith