Canadian artist Joe Smith received his art education from the Montreal Museum of Fine Art. He began his career as a staff artist at The Gazette in Montreal illustrating for both the news and advertising departments. In addition to his regular job he also did freelance work for a variety of companies and printers.
From Montreal, he moved to Toronto where he was promoted to the National Office of the Southam Newspapers. There he worked as creative director which also involved the development of audio visuals as well as traveling the country giving creative seminars and workshops.
Continuing his climb up the corporate ladder his next stop was at The Spectator in Hamilton, Ontario. As the executive in charge of public relations, promotion and marketing he was the “front man”, going out into the community representing the newspaper at special events and as Joe puts it “Eating my way through hundreds of rubber chicken dinners.”
In 1996 he decided to get back to his roots as a fine artist. “It was something that was always in the back of my mind … to get back to my art when I retired. After some health problems at age of 46, I decided life could be too short and I was not going to wait. So I packed it in with the newspaper, dusted off my paints and palettes, started over again as a fine artist … although I still do commercial work for builders and developers.”
While life and business was good and Joe became one of Oakville, Ontario’s better known artists, in 2002 he and his wife decided to move to Vancouver Island. “We came out for a visit and like many transplants fell in love with the scenery, the lifestyle and decided to stay.”
Over the years he has participated in many juried shows, won some awards and is actively involved in the community. Shows that he has participated in range from the giant Toronto Outdoor Art Exhibition and the Kawartha Lakes Art Festival to shows in BC such as Comox Nautical days, Originals Only Fine Art Show and The West show in Surrey.
In addition to group shows, he has also held solo shows in both private and commercial galleries. One of the advantages of moving to the Island was the ability to build his own studio and gallery which is of course open to the public. Visitors just have to call ahead to make sure he is there and not out painting or exhibiting somewhere.
His paintings can be found in both private and corporate collections in Canada and abroad.
Community involvement has included …
- President Association of Canadian Clubs
- President Comox Valley Chamber of Commerce
- Board Member Comox Valley Community Foundation
- Co-chair Canadian Country Music Awards
- Chair Originals Only Art Shows
- Board Member BC Arts Council
- Member Comox Valley Arts