DR. CHARLES SMITH
Dr. Charles Smith (b. 1940) - artist, activist, minister, and historian - says, "My art addresses racism from a historical perspective. It represents the slaves as well as African-American inventions, contributions and achievements, and defense of the Unites States." Smith began creating his sculptural landscape in Aurora, Illinois, in 1968 as a tribute to the more than 7,000 African-Americans who died in Vietnam.
His subjects exude pride, celebrate talent, acknowledge despair, reflect endurance, and show the ability to survive through humor and joy. Exposing and challenging racism is Smith's primary goal.
"Dr." is a self-appointed title appended to call attention to the extensive education that life has given him. He was born in New Orleans, Louisiana, and was raised by a single mother in a suburb of Chicago, Illinois. Smith credits his mother with being a driving force in the creation of his monumental sculpture garden, acknowledging her amazing love and devotion to God and the church and her familial devotion as rock-solid guides to understanding life.
Dr. Smith's sculptures change and adapt to the world just as living people do, taking on patinas and stories over time, thus incorporating elements of the world that surrounds them.