Chuck Smart, artist and musician
By Charles E. Brown
Seattle Times staff
Wednesday, January 7, 2009
In his own words, Chuck Smart, a Kitsap County transplant from Ohio, was a
musician and artist born into a family of musicians and artists in a culture of
music and art.
During his 67-year life, he explored much of the world,
performing, collaborating and recording music; conducting research; and
collecting instruments. He studied at the Cleveland Institute of Music and
Cleveland Music School Settlement, and at the Karamu House Theater for Dance
and Music in Cleveland.
He was perhaps best known in the Pacific Northwest as a
local pioneer in digital fine art, specializing in computer-modified
photographic collages, and for the mixed-media art he sold online and at
galleries in Bremerton and Silverdale, and at the Seattle Art Museum's sales
and rental gallery in downtown Seattle.
Mr. Smart, who was diagnosed with
pancreatic cancer in September, died Dec. 29 with his wife, Dawn, of Bremerton,
and his brother, Sydney Smart, of Boston, at his side. He entered hospice care
on Christmas Eve, his wife said.
In Ohio, Mr. Smart was associate dean of
students at Antioch College in Yellow Springs for 16 years and taught
percussion. He performed and conducted workshops in ethnomusicology and hosted
jazz programs on the radio.
He and his wife moved to Kitsap County, where Dawn
had been raised, after Mr. Smart was downsized out of a position at Antioch
College in the mid-1980s, his wife said.
Art and music were equal passions, his
wife said. For a number of years, he was invited to show in the Edwin T. Pratt
Exhibit presented by the Pratt Fine Arts Center in Seattle. His work was also
exhibited at the downtown Bon Marché department store.
According to his
wife, two of his pieces were selected in 2000 by the U.S. State Department for
an exhibit in the U.S. ambassador's residence in Swaziland.
Mr. Smart shared
studio space in a downtown Bremerton storefront with local poet-artist M. Anne
Sweet, of Des Moines, and Kitsap artist Alan Newberg.
"He was on the cutting
edge of digital fine art long before it was a recognized art form," Sweet said.
Last year, Mr. Smart won "best of show" in the inaugural CVG Show, a statewide
juried art exhibition at Bremerton's Collective Visions Gallery, for his
digital mixed media piece "Garden of Eve."
On the same day he entered hospice,
his piece titled "Life and Death" was accepted for this year's CVG Show, next
month at Collective Visions Gallery.
Mr. Smart's works sold at SAM's sales
gallery for a decade. "One of the things I most admired was that he was
interested in all forms of art," said Barbara Shaiman, director of the sales
and rental gallery. "There was a lot of carry-over between his interest in
visual arts and music," she said. Some of his pieces included photos of
In Silverdale, Mr. Smart showed at Old Town Custom Framing and
Gallery, and in Bremerton at Amy Burnett Gallery.
For several years, dating
back to the late 1990s, he regularly commuted to Bellevue to volunteer as a DJ
on jazz and world-music shows for KBCS-FM radio (91.3). He also worked at Bud's
Jazz Records in Pioneer Square and wrote for Earshot Jazz, a Seattle-based
monthly newsletter. His artwork also appeared on the newsletter's cover.
posted information about his life and his work on his Web site,
Arrangements for a memorial service are pending.
Brown: 206-464-2206 or email@example.com
Copyright © 2009 The
Seattle Times Company