A family’s gift of expression
Stefan Smith works in reinsurance but finds it near impossible to stay away from a camera.
His younger brother Micrae is a graphic artist, having decided years ago to give in to the inevitable.
Look for their work in a display now on at City Hall. ArtSmiths:#Four is the fourth joint exhibit the brothers and their father, the respected artist and Bermuda College professor Edwin Smith, have held at the Bermuda Society of Arts.
“It's been ten years since the last one and it seemed a natural time to do another one,” said Stefan, 29. “Since it has been so long it's hard to compare, but I want to say I think this one is the best.”
There are 19 pieces on exhibit. The collective includes Stefan's photographs of cloud formations and two and three-dimensional pieces Micrae created using paper handmade from plant and discarded materials.
Their father's monochromatic paintings, which address various social issues, are also on display.
“We spent our early years in Savannah, Georgia while my dad was in school and the arts have always been a big part of our lives,” said Stefan, a risk analyst at Ariel Reinsurance Ltd.
“I don't think we really had a choice about it. Just being in the house since day one, growing up with an artist father, was enough to get us interested. [Despite that] I was never interested in pursuing art as a career.
“I'm a catastrophe modeller, it's all numbers and statistics based. Part of the reason was that I didn't like thinking of photography as a job because I enjoy it.”
Most weekends he's out with a camera in hand.
“It's a real stress reliever. I can go for a walk and capture images I appreciate and I like the process of it. I decided, for this show, to use my iPhone just because you're never too far from it so you take most photos with it. I don't think, if you saw the pieces, you would immediately [realise I'd used an iPhone].”
Micrae, 27, returned to the island this summer after graduating with a bachelor of fine arts. Like his brother, he was initially against a career in the arts.
“When I was first leaving for school I wanted to do psychology,” he said. “I had a passion for art but didn't want to be compared with my father but everybody kept saying, ‘Why aren't you doing art? Clearly it's something you're good at and passionate about.'
“Eventually I realised they were right. And, at this point, it's not bad to be compared to somebody who does good work.
“Working with my hands is something I've always enjoyed. Because most of my work was graphic design and what I did in school was graphics, this exhibit was a way for me to step away from the computer screen.”
Their father's reputation as an artist never stopped the brothers from showing their own work.
“He's completely supportive of us,” said Stefan.
“I know he gave feedback on my pieces and it helped me with selection through his feedback.
“I trust his opinion and now, seeing the show up, it's more exciting than intimidating.”
Added Micrae: “It was just a natural progression of seeing [his work] and wanting to do our own versions of what we saw. I can definitely see how I've developed.”
ArtSmiths:#Four runs until October 11 at BSoA.
“We appreciate that the consideration of art is further informed by its context, and that, in this case, this includes the relationship of the artists,” the Smiths said.
“Our efforts reveal the value this family places in collaboration, personal creativity and the gift of expression through the visual arts.”