My Life in Art at Old Town Triangle Art Center – a short missive

I first came to the Old Town Triangle Art Center as a student. One of their instructors was a fine artist, Eleanor Coen, whom I knew from art school at the Art Institute of Chicago. I was privileged to study with her. In 1987, I relinquished my student status and became an instructor at the Center. At that time, the administrator told me I would have to build my own class. “Not a problem”, I thought. I had a number of eager followers and the class took on a life of its own. I taught three days a week for years, restarting a defunct Life Drawing class by student demand.

The heady days of being a new instructor.

The heady days of being a new instructor.

The impact of my long association with Old Town Art Center enriched me as an artist and furthered my art career. I had the intrinsic value; the joy of helping my students open their eyes to see and within their selves to understand that the their art must flow from the Heart to the Head to the Hand.

When I resigned from the Center in 2013, I left a lot of myself there.

 Retirement Party - Old Town Triangle Art Center

Retirement Party – Old Town Triangle Art Center

My experience at OTTA and the friends I made in those years will always be a part of my present journey to place my American Legacy Collection in an appropriate facility where it will be used for education.

About Illinois Artist Laureate Kay Smith

After completing my studies at the School of the Art Institute, I worked as an illustrator. As the 1976 Bicentennial approached there was a fever of interest in American history. In 1971, I was asked to illustrate a book on the American Revolutionary War period which required me to travel to historic locations to paint the actual scenes. As my travels crossed and crisscrossed the paths of the patriots, I entered their lives and was forever caught in the inescapable skeins of history and was thrust into the role of historical painter. What began as a single assignment has grown over the past 40-plus years into the largest collection of American historical-site paintings ever created by a single artist. To see these historical works and to learn more about The American Legacy Collection, please visit my website at: The American Legacy Collection is a dramatic panorama of this country's historical places and its defining moments. My original watercolors chronicle 500 years of the American experience and preserve with an artist's palette our American heritage.

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