Art Live: Energized Art

Dr. Stephen Smith officially retired a few years ago but with all that he has going on, you’d never know it. After a long and successful career in dentistry, Smith pivoted to take on new challenges as a fine art photographer.  Photography wasn’t entirely new to him though. In his work as a medical professional he’d been using numerous types of 35 mm cameras, including digital format, to expand his knowledge since 1957. As an artist, Smith is expanding on this knowledge by creating what he calls "Energized Art."

"Tree of Live" A healing art painting by Stephen Smith

“The use of crystals to absorb and transfer energy is the basis of this new form of art. Each colorful original photograph, on hi-luminescent metallic photo-print, has gem crystals, gold, and silver embossed into the pictures, using stamps or painted liquid adhesives. Once designed, painted and placed, the powdered crystals are heated and coalesced to form a plasticized matrix.” His photo paintings vibrate with this technology, which Smith used in his dental practice for treating facial pain, joint swelling and more. Laser-pulsed light wave energy is embedded into crystal figures using TensCam and LaserCam physiotherapy devices. “Each week I seem to progress with more insights about linking beautiful photography with crystal painting; the result is that natural healing energy is emitted from the art piece.”

Dragonfly Abstract BubbleArt by Stephen Smith

Viewed live, this unique art form translates well for Smith. Unfortunately, with coronavirus wreaking havoc this year, opportunities to show his artwork dwindled. But things are picking up again. To really get a sense of what his work is all about, see it in person during the Chester County Studio Tour later this month. In November, Smith is exhibiting work at the holiday show "A Bit of the Arts" in Lansdowne. He also shows his work online at Getty Images/ESP, ArtMajeur, Shutterstock, and ETSY. And, his work is catalogued with "The Foundation for Photo/Art in Hospitals, "an international organization based in Florence, Italy. For more information and to peruse Smith’s online gallery visit here.

Vidya Shyamsundar at work in the studio

Downingtown artist Vidya Shyamsundar paints colorful intricate geometric patterns & motifs inspired by her Indian culture. Another self-taught artist, her recent work focuses on mandalas, a meditative geometric art form and landscape art with elements of abstraction and realism. Shyamsundar previously worked in business and as a stay at home mom. She began taking art classes for a change of pace from her daily routines and it’s become her passion over the last five years. "I would have never thought signing up for an art class as an avenue for distraction from chores would steer me into a world of possibilities that I am pursuing now."

While the pandemic has put a damper on many things, it’s provided an unusual amount of quality time for artists. “I am more creative and disciplined with my studio practice than I have ever been. My typical ritual consists of spending an average of four to five hours a day in chunks by making art, educating myself about art & business, and sharing my new works and stories in social media.”

A landscape painting by Vidya Shyamsundar

With more time for her studio practice, Shyamsundar designed a project that included sharing her process while providing an added feel good element for patrons, “I worked on a landscape series titled "Shades of Spring – A 30 Day Tiny Art Project." Every day I posted one new 4” x 4” artwork for 30 days which included a time lapse video of my process from start to finish.  All sales were generated via social media which were purchased through my website and 15% of the proceeds were donated to Chester County Art Association’s 'Send a Kid to Camp' program.”

Mandala by Vidya Shyamsundar

Sharing what goes on behind the scenes is scary for a lot of makers. It can be even more intimidating doing it virtually. “Engaging with the audience online does not come naturally to me. It has become a necessity, and I am working towards improving my online skills to connect and interact with my audience through Instagram and my website.”  Shyamsundar will be showing as a guest artist at Stephen Smith Studio (#13) during the Chester County Studio Tour, outside the club house at Eagleview Town Center in Exton. Shyamsundar will also be participating in the online holiday art show, 25 Days of Minis beginning December 1st.

Another event worth checking out: Beginning September 8th, Locks Gallery is featuring an exhibition of alluring new oil paintings by Philadelphia-based artist Neysa Grassi, paired with colorful, spatial works by painter Joanna Pousette-Dart. To schedule an appointment, contact info@locksgallery.com.

Whatever you do this week, support the arts!!

About Constance McBride

A native of Philadelphia, Constance McBride lived in Arizona for 16 years, where desert observations made a transformative impact on her work as a research based visual artist. Passionate about contemporary art, she was actively engaged in the local arts community. She served as a board member for several art organizations, managed an artist collective/gallery space, curated and juried several exhibitions and wrote for two arts publications in Phoenix. She taught ceramics at Shemer Art Center and Museum and exhibited her work both locally and nationally. McBride returned to Pennsylvania in 2018 and resides in Chester Springs with her husband and two dogs. In West Chester, she serves as a board member at The Art Trust Gallery at Meridian Bank and teaches ceramics at Chester County Art Association. She also teaches at Clay on Main in Oley, PA. She is a member of American Craft Council, Philadelphia Sculptors, and Women’s Caucus for Art, Philadelphia Chapter.

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