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Good day, Poets! Today, I would like to introduce you to Walter Smith, a digital artist from Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. From an early age, Walter developed a love for drawing and the visual arts. He attended both Lincoln University and Philadelphia College of Art and pursued both Liberal and Fine Arts.

After several years of study, he joined the Philadelphia Artists Cooperative (PAC) in 1987. PAC later became the Highwire Gallery Inc. and was one of the first emerging artist’s cooperatives in downtown Philadelphia. His seven years as a participating member was critical to his growth and success as an artist.

Walter then pursued a solo career which culminated in several group, two-person, and solo shows. Most notably are the 1997 group show at Agora Gallery in Soho, New York, the solo retrospective at the Villanova University Art Gallery, and the two-person show at the North Charleston City Gallery in South Carolina.

The one thing that I can readily point to as being the most influential force on my art is my life experience. Personal and intimate to my sense of awareness, it has been my goal to translate this experience into various forms of art.

Today, Walter is graciously offering four of his creations as inspiration for our Poetic writings, along with a short commentary about each piece:

Remove Yourself from the Painful Past and Uncertain Future

This piece is one of a series of works from the 2004 “Digitalscapes: A Transformation” exhibit at the North Charleston City Gallery in South Carolina. All of the pieces in the series are a reflection of the social, restorative, and contemplative transformation of the artist from the dense urban environment of Philadelphia to the open rural settings of the South. The major theme of the series and this piece in particular is the ambiguity of life within the sphere of change. Creatively speaking, it was during this period I was mainly concerned with constructing multi-photographic collages as a whole to convey a recovery aspect of my life.

Abstract 02 (From the Musee d Orsay series)

When utilizing the technical and creative process of digital art, my focus is mainly on the layering and composition of a piece. In doing so, I make little attempt to conceal or delineate the image, but instead construct, build, and expose the image as a new and provocative work of art. Abstract 02 is from a series reflecting on my visit to the Musee d Orsay in Paris, France. Although the museum is famous for its Impressionistic collection, I wanted to express the series as an abstract. The initial layer is a photograph of the interior of the museum. From there the layers create their own impression.

Ceremony Ashes (From the “Impressions in Barbados” series)

Ceremony is defined as a formal act or set of acts as prescribed by ritual, custom or etiquette (sacredness or religious rite.)  There is something beautiful and magical about a ceremony. It brings people together. During our trip to Barbados, our group participated in a very moving one. It was an ash to sea ceremony. We found the location on the island which was noted as being nearest to Africa. It was there that the twelve of us performed what I will always remember as a beautiful and deep expression of love and remembrance. Some of us said a few words in observance of the passing, and others expressed compassion and recited poetry. And in the end there were flowers, sand, and surf coming together to set adrift the physical presence of a loved one. This series concentrated on imitating the look of impressionistic paintings by digital means.

Bridge (From the “Go Out and See” series)

A favorite outdoor activity is road biking, along with mountain biking. In the mountains of Western North Carolina are numerous opportunities to “Go Out and See.” This series consists of over twenty photographs taken after the 18 mile ride up one side of the mountain. Then down and up again the other side of the mountain. The second climb was the longest and hardest I had ever done. It was straight up into the sky. But along the way the ride gave us the most beautiful vistas. In this series I did not want to alter the original images too much, but instead accent the beauty within.

Many thanks to Walter for providing this week’s Poetics prompt via his inspirational art and words. To learn more about Walter’s work, you may contact him as follows:

Walter W Smith
Phone: 864 – 569 – 6533
Email address: seeartrun@yahoo.com
Artist website: www.newdigitalscapes.com
Art blog: www.walterwsmith.wordpress.com
Online store: www.newdigitalscapes.imagekind.com

• Choose one of Walter’s pieces and write a poem about how it speaks to you – what thoughts, emotions, and images it stirs within you. As you process and write, be aware of what you are experiencing in that moment, and channel it into your writing.
• Post your poem on your blog, then return here.
• Click on the Mr. Linky button below.
• In the new window, enter your name and the exact URL of your poem and click the submit button.
• Please visit the other participants as you can, commenting and sharing as you see fit, and finally, have a super-fantabulous weekend!