Smithie Mitchell and Katie Hoffman
Anthology Fine Art
June 22 - August 10, 2018
- Opening Reception: Friday, June 29th 6-9pm
“Beneath the Surface” will feature the abstract wood sculpture of Smithie “Smitty” Mitchell and the paintings of Katie Hoffman. Both artists are local to the Denver Metro area and have been creating art for decades.
Anthology Fine Art
3419 S Lincoln St.
Englewood, CO 80113
Saturday: 10-5 or by appointment
Smithie Mitchell: 45 year Englewood resident Smithie Mitchell has been carving wood for over 70 years and is self taught. Using mainly found pieces of wood, Smithie transforms the mundane into extraordinary works of art. He moved to Colorado in 1969 and owned an HVAC business for 45 years. He and his wife have been in their current home for 25 years and raised three children in Englewood.
Growing up, Smithie’s closest neighbor was a mile away and to fill his time, he started whittling around the age of 8. Carving has been his hobby and passion from that point on. When you visit his home in Englewood, you immediately see beautiful landscaping and a tranquil water feature. Upon closer examination, his serene wood sculpture comes into focus along with antique furnace bases transformed into expressive architectural features.
Through exploration of Colorado, the state he calls home, people curious to see what he might do with an old stump pulled from their yard and years of salvage, Smithie has created hundreds of sculptures with several always in the works. When asked how he creates what he does, he just smiles and says, “I wait for the wood to talk to me”. His pieces take anywhere from a day to several months depending on the scale. Smithie works with many wood types, but prefers juniper because of the grain and it’s prominence in Colorado. Smithie gently manipulates wood into beautiful forms that do not overpower his medium. Glass smooth, sanded and polished surfaces are juxtapozed with rough natural surfaces that coalesce into graceful, flowing abstract forms that captivate the viewer’s eye as it moves around the piece. Smithie has a keen kinetic voice to his art that must be witnessed first hand to truly be appreciated.
Katie Hoffman: My process is largely intuitive. I strive to convey inner realities in a way that I hope will speak to the human condition and resonate with viewers. I am influenced by Jungian archetypes, fairy tales, and religious mythologies.
Using oil paint, I start with a nonobjective under-painting and few preconceptions, save texture and color, to enter into a dialogue with the paint itself. Though this approach to a start is indebted to Abstract Expressionism, the paintings are not completed in one dynamic session. They are returned to over a period of weeks or months, as more layers of paint, wax, and various media are added and some areas are abraded or scraped down to reveal earlier layers, in a mimicry of fragmented memory and experience residing in an invented space.
I bring recognizable imagery to the surface as it asserts itself during the process, but attempt to retain some of the freshness, chaos, and ambiguity of the original vision.
Katie Hoffman earned her BFA at MSUD in 2004 and has since been exhibiting her award-winning work in galleries and cultural centers across Colorado. Her work has been featured in national and international publications. "People fall in love with her beautiful and dark, mythologically powered paintings; in a town with a vast range of styles, hers is truly unique."- Susan Froyd, “100 Colorado Creatives: Katie Hoffman,” Westword Blogs, September 20, 2013